Nothing untoward about Joburg property valuations, say experts

The City of Johannesburg released Section 49 notices for property owners this week, a legislated process which happens every four years.

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JOHANNESBURG - Property experts say there’s nothing untoward about the changes made to the property General Valuation Roll in the city of Johannesburg.

The city released Section 49 notices for property owners this week, a legislated process which happens every four years.

Concerns were raised after some property value in the city increased by between 20 and 100% or more, resulting in higher rates and taxes.

The city’s been accused of implementing these hikes unfairly to boost its flagging income.

Property law specialist Julian Scher says that the increases may seem exorbitant because reviews have not been done in over four years.

“This Rate Act applies throughout the whole of South Africa. It gives the municipality the power to rate the market value and determine how to do rates. People must accept that rates, like death and taxes, are a form of tax. It is one of the major sources of income for the municipality.”

Senior property economist at Absa Jacques du Toit says that if property owners are unhappy with the re-valuation they can appeal.

“It’s not possible to determine at this stage if the city is wrong in terms of certain evaluation.”