Joburg property owners, watch out for property rates increase!

Joburg property owners, watch out for property rates increase!

The City of Joburg is finalising its new general valuation roll for 2023 and this affects the rates that property owners are charged.

The City of Johannesburg is updating the general valuation roll of property for 2023 and planning to implement this at the start of the municipal financial year on 1 July. 

Property owners should be on the lookout for a formal notification (Section 49 notice) from the City listing the updated municipal valuation for their properties in the General Valuation Roll (GVR) 2023.

Municipal rates charged to property owners are based on the property valuations. These property valuations are determined at the amount the property would have sold for on 1 July 2022 in the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer.

Last week the City said that the new roll increases the total valuation of all properties by 12% to R1.5 trillion from R1.4 trillion in 2018. A total of 934 652 property owners are on the list.

Julius Kleynhans, Executive Manager in charge of the Community Action Network (CAN) initiative at OUTA,  says many of those property owners may be affected by the updated valuations, resulting in property rates increases from July 2023. “It is very important to determine to what extent you are affected by these valuations. Valuers do make mistakes and you need to ensure that your property is valued fairly because you will pay rates in line with the value of your property on the municipality’s books.”

OUTA said that though single percentage increases can be expected, many property owners have been surprised with unaffordable two to three digit percentage increases in other municipalities.

“If you find that your property value is irrational and believe you can prove it, you need to dispute the valuation and proposed rate with the City. It is very important to do this within the short timeframe the City provides because if you don’t and you get a surprise in July 2023 on your rates account, it will most likely be too late to address the issue,” says Kleynhans.

The City Manager is now obliged to within 21 days make the Roll open to the public for inspection. This will be followed by the City sending out the Section 49 Notices.

The municipality uses two ways to increase rates. The first is the valuation roll, which means that the property owners’ rates rise with the increase in valuation of their properties. This is specific to each property. The second way is through the general annual increase across the board for rates, which is included in the municipal budget each year. This is the rate-in-the-rand increase. Last year the increase was 4.85%.

The combination of these two increases can have a significant impact on property owners.

The City’s explanation on how rates are charged is here and the City’s page on valuations is here. The draft General Valuation Roll 2023 does not appear to have been made available yet.