Please note: The property rates levy for the July account will most probably reflect the original property value because the objection has not yet been considered by the municipal valuer.
We received several frantic calls about this from our clients when they received their July accounts. There is no cause for concern – your account will be adjusted if the value of your property is reduced.
The objection forms must be handed over to the municipal valuer within 14 days after the closing date for the submission of objections.
The objections should be dealt with as quickly as possible as the municipality will levy rates on the new values from 1 July in the case of a general valuation.
Many clients have asked us whether they should pay the rates levied on the ‘incorrect’ value, or continue paying what they paid in June, or pay an amount based on the objection value. What is the correct course of action?
The following extract from Practical Guide on Municipal Property Rates may help:
Judge Mia, AJ, in Dunrose Investments 224 (Pty) Ltd v The City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (The High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg Case No: 16396/2019) in paragraph  said: “The Municipal Property Rates Act 6 of 2004 is special in character and prevails over the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000. Section 50(6) of the Municipal Property Rates Act 6 of 2004 provides that the lodging of an objection does not defer liability for payment of rates beyond the date determined for payment. The applicant is thus required to pay rates raised until the objection is resolved.”
To clarify: rates will be levied on the new property value until the value is amended by the municipal valuer and the billing department is informed of the amended value. Most of these changes will happen after 1 July and rates will be raised on the value reflected in the general valuation roll. The municipality will apply debt collection procedures if the account is not settled.
Unless the municipality grants an extension of payment, ratepayers are advised to settle their accounts in full.
If the value is reduced, the incorrect property rates levied from 1 July will be reversed.
Cape Town indicated that there will be an automatic lock on the property rates on objected properties. It is our understanding that no debt collection action will be instigated if the property rates are not paid in full.
We are not aware of a similar arrangement in the City of Johannesburg.