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George ratepayers have received their July statements and will know by now by what percentage their property rates have gone up after the George Council approved the revised valuation roll earlier this year.
The George Ratepayers Association (GRPA) intends to challenge the municipality’s multiple announcements this year that property rates will increase by an average of only 16,6%.
In a statement issued on Monday 31 July, the association invites ratepayers to submit their individual information regarding property rates for June 2023 (old) vs July 2023 (new) by 7 August.
It is gathering this data from ratepayers to use together with data from the George Municipality’s (GM) valuation roll to take the George Council on review in this matter.
According to Jacques Wessels, a GRPA committee member, the information will be tabled to the municipality to strengthen their request to review the valuations.
The association says not only are many of the valuations based on inflated property values, but there are also large discrepancies in the allocated values of properties, with some homeowners’ rates decreasing.
The municipality’s published figure of a 16,6% increase might be accurate “on average”, but in real terms some residential property owners are facing increases in excess of 40% and even up to 300%. Business and commercial property rates are up by as much as 20% while industrial property owners are having to cough up for an increase of around 90%.
The GRPA’s figures are based on individual responses from members of the public and an analysis of the total valuation roll. Its efforts to obtain information regarding the valuation process have been in vain so far.
George Herald earlier this year reported on the municipality’s stance that the valuations were based on the most recent property sales prices and that property prices have increased substantially because of a high demand market resulting from an influx of new residents.
But the GRPA maintains that there was an apparent lack in competency in the compilation of the values and of official and political oversight.
Read the full article on George Herald here.