Although the City of Cape Town’s 2009 General Valuation Roll (GV2009) was certified by the City Manager on 29 January 2010, residents will only be able to calculate their new rates in late April.
This is because the ‘rate in the rand’ is determined by full Council as part of its annual budget cycle. This is a separate process to the General Valuation, which is a process conducted by property professionals. Once the budget process is complete, the City will make a ‘rates calculator’ available on its website.
The General Valuation Roll is now open to public inspection and objection at the City’s 18 public inspection venues. This new valuation roll will be used as a basis for property rates from July 2010.[ad#Google Adsense 125×125 Blog Post]A general valuation is conducted at least once every four years to ensure that the rates charged on residential and non-residential (agricultural and public service infrastructure) properties are fair and up-to-date. It is necessary to redo valuations because property values change within neighbourhoods and in relation to other neighbourhoods over time. This revaluation will establish a fair and equitable rates base for the next three to four years.
The public inspection and objection period began on 22 February 2010 and closes 30 April 2010. Absolutely no late objections will be accepted after 30 April 2010.
Property owners will only know what their rates will be when the ‘cent in the rand’ is announced in June 2010. This will determine the amounts to be paid in rates.
Rates constitute about 24% of the City’s income and pay for services including building and maintaining Cape Town’s roads and parks, running its clinics and libraries and fire, rescue and traffic services. By law, a general valuation must be finished five months before rates are levied on it.
Rates are charged on the estimated market value of the property, and sale prices provide an objective basis for the assessment of market value.
In the past, all properties were physically inspected by registered valuers. However, given the large number of properties (in Cape Town’s case approximately 780 000) and the frequency of general valuations (legislation prescribes that a general valuation must occur at least every four years), it is no longer possible to follow this route. Instead, legislation allows for the use of Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) techniques – loosely described as the determination of values using a variety of statistical methods – to produce market values.
How to find your property’s valuation
The online General Valuation Roll database may be used to confirm your property and valuation information. You may search by site address, erf number, farm, sectional title or reference number.
How to object to your valuation
As a property owner you have sixty days in which to lodge objections to the valuations that you believe are incorrect. Objections must be in relation to a specific property, and cannot be lodged against the valuation roll as a whole.
You may object to any information displayed on the valuation roll, as long as you are able to back up your objection. It is up to you, the objector, to prove that the market value assessment is wrong. Comparing the valuation to neighbouring valuations does not imply that the valuation is wrong.
According to the City’s Valuations Manager Emil Weichardt. the best motivation would be to supply sales evidence of comparable sales. If no comparable sales data is available, owners should give good reasons as to why their property values are incorrect, he says. For instance, a mere reference to the age of the property does not necessarily mean that the valuation is incorrect.
He warns owners to be wary of accepting unsubstantiated opinions of values. “There has to be a proper analysis of each value,” he points out.
Objection forms that were not properly completed would be rejected, and those providing sales and other relevant data “make the case much stronger.”
“We take each complete objection form seriously, and will give it a full, fair examination,” he notes. “The objection process is important to us, as it helps us ensure our data is correct.”
If your objection is that the property owner’s name or address is incorrect, this objection will be dealt with immediately.
The City will not consider the following types of objections:
- An objection to the amount of rates payable
- Incomplete objection forms
- Multiple objections per objection form
- Objections completed in bad faith
- Frivolous objections to unrelated issues
- Objections not submitted on the official objection form
- Late objections
Objections must be lodged on the prescribed objection forms during the prescribed period – 22 February 2010 until 30 April 2010. No late objections will be accepted. A separate objection form must be submitted per property. Objection forms can be collected at any of the 18 public inspection venues.
You may also request that an objection form be e-mailed to you. These requests must be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org – Subject: GV2009 objection form required. Please include the valuation reference number of the property in your email.