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2008-06-05: City only receives 21 000 objections to new valuation roll

JOBURG has received only 21 021 formal objections to the new General Valuation Roll off a base of more than 780 000 properties on the Roll.

The main areas of objection were incorrect value of property, incorrect owner information, incorrect property category, omissions, wrong street addresses and spelling mistakes.

The General Valuation Roll sets out the market value of all properties in the City, and this value is one of the components used to work out the value of rates payable annually by property owners.

The City's Director: Valuation Services Werner Sarvari says the new Roll will come into effect from 1 July. The roll opened for inspection and lodging of Objections on 27 February this year and closed last week on 27 May.

"We had an extensive campaign to ensure that every property owner had ample opportunity to inspect the Roll. A physical copy of the Roll was made available for inspection at 10 of the City's Customer Service Centres across the City; and an electronic copy was available for inspection on the City's website," says Sarvari.

He says the website had more than 55 899 property searches and 23 992 visits to the venues to view values. "We also received 11 985 email queries."
Sarvari says 337 late objections were received after the official closing date. "So we will treat these late objections as queries and investigate them. However, if changes to the Roll are approved, they will have to be captured in a Supplementary Valuation Roll."

Sarvari says the City itself lodged objections to the Roll. "This is a normal practice. The Roll is a legal document and changes, by whoever and for whatever reason, have to be done following the legislated process for objections. We lodged 5 000 objections against the Roll mainly because of omissions, category changes and zero valuations," he says.

Sarvari says his Directorate will now focus on working through the objections received.

"We are aiming to complete the processing of all objections by December this year and we expect that the entire process (including the Appeals process) could be completed by June 2009."

All objections will be reviewed and considered on their merits. "This will mainly be an internal process but external inspections may be necessary depending on the objection.

Incomplete objections, may, however, be rejected and it is possible that additional information may be called for."

Objectors will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation into the objection, after which an Appeal process can be followed, says Sarvari.

A detailed, written explanation of the decision against an objection can be requested from the City's Valuation Services Directorate. It will cost R350 per request. Such requests must be made in writing to:

City of Johannesburg
Valuation Services
P O Box 32422

"Objectors can then lodge an Appeal against the decision of their objection, and it must be done within 30 days after their written notification of the outcome of their objection is posted," he says. (City of Johannesburg, Valuation Services, P O Box 32422, Braamfontein, 2017).

Objectors who have requested written explanations of the decision can also lodge an Appeal and that must be done within 21 days of the written response being posted to them," he says.

"Ultimately, objectors who do not find satisfaction to their issues within these processes may challenge the decision in a court of law."
Sarvari says the Municipal Property Rates Act allows for Supplementary Valuation Rolls to be done as frequently as necessary - a stark break from the past.
"The current 2001 General Valuation Roll will still be updated with a final supplementary valuation roll under the old ordnance until September 2008. This is done to capture all property transactions done from 01 July 2007 until 30 June this year," he says.

"Another Supplementary Valuation will be done to update the new Roll (which was compiled on July 2007 and will come into effect on 01 July 2008) to cover all property transactions since 01 July 2007. This Supplementary Roll is due in September 2008."