The City of Johannesburg has reiterated the need for public scrutinisation of proposed tariff increases for properties in the area.
Come 1 July this year, properties across Johannesburg face the following proposed increases for the 2023/24 financial year:
- 5.3% average property rate increase;
- 7.0% average proposed refuse increase;
- 9.3% residential post-paid and prepaid water and sanitation increase;
- 18.64% average electricity increase.
Speaking at the start of the month at an integrated Development Plan meeting in Finetown, Gauteng, the speaker for the city said that residents are encouraged to agree or disagree with the country’s proposals before they are tabled at Council.
The increase in rates and taxes has raised eyebrows for the public as well as certain organisations. In February, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said that the City of Joburg needs to check that the property valuations are reasonable.
Cash-strapped consumers are already facing rising interest rates, soaring inflation and a cost of living crisis.
In light of the belt-tightening Joburgers among the rest of South Africans have been forced to undergo, the city said that it is mindful of the impact of annual increases – especially on the poor, pensioners, and even private lending institutions categorised as business or commercial.
In an effort to shield the poor and particularly pensioners, from the aforementioned rate hikes, the city has proposed the following interventions:
- An increase in the number of pensioner beneficiaries from 28,000 to approximately 50,000 pensioners
- The property threshold for pensioners qualifying for the pensioner rebate be adjusted from R2.5 million to R1.5 million for all pensioners from age 60 to 69 years
- Income levels for pensioners be increased from the lower amount of R11,305 to R11,904. The city said the higher amount would also be adjusted from R19,377 to R20,404
- All pensioners will get a rebate and pay on the balance of the values of the properties that exceed the R1.5 million
- Pensioners aged 70 years with a property value of not more than R2 million will be granted a 100% rebate with no consideration of income
- If the property value exceeds R2 million, the pensioner will be expected to pay rates on the value of more than R2 million
- The pensioner rebate benefit will be granted for the duration of the current valuation roll. Pensioners will be required to reconfirm/re-apply, at the end of the duration of the current valuation roll that lapses on the 30th of June 2023
- Pensioners applying for an expanded social package are now required to complete the pensioner’s application form to qualify for the pensioner rebate
- The first R300,000 of the value of all residential property to be excluded from the rating
- Child headed family/household with a property value not exceeding R1.5 million will receive 100%
- Privately owned schools, colleges and universities which are categorised as business and commercial qualify for a rebate on applications up to 30%
Lodging a complaint
Outa provided the following steps to look into your valuation:
- Compare the new value with the current value on your latest City of Joburg invoice.
- If the new value has significantly increased, you can object to it to potentially get a reduced deal.
- You don’t need to do anything if you think the new value is fair. If you would like to object, continue with the process.
- Determine the value of your property and compare.
- Lodge a complaint with the City of Joburg here.