Residents of the City of Mbombela Local Municipality in Mpumalanga are accusing the municipality of re-evaluating their properties without following proper procedures. Some of the residents claim that their houses are now overpriced and this will force them to pay higher rates and taxes.
The municipality is also accused of not informing property owners before implementing the new rate and tax structure.
Residents accuse the municipality of implementing the adjustment without informing them.
Apparently, more than 4 000 households have already lodged appeals with the Mbombela Local Municipality. Some of them their rates have increased by more than 100%.
They are now calling on the municipality to start afresh the evaluation process.
“Before the evaluation, my house was rated about R809 000. Now, we have these re-evaluations and now my house is R2.6 million. That is more than 200% increase more than what I was paying. I usually paid like R780 and now I’m paying R1 800 a month.”
“With the current economy, such an adjustment means that I have to dig deep and it is very tough for everybody. So, it would have been fair to make me understand this is how far we have come and the adjustment percentage is this and for the following reasons but that has not been done.”
Mbombela residents cry foul over adjusted rates and taxes:
Nelspruit Residence and Ratepayers Association (NRRA) Chairperson, TJ Mare says they are planning to take legal action against the municipality.
Mare further threatened that they will consider boycotting paying for rates and taxes should the municipality ignore their complaints.
“As the NRRA, we have already sent our first letter to Mbombela and hand-delivered it to the executive mayor. By this coming Friday, the 14 days will be finished, and they must have responded to us. The next step will be a letter from our legal team that will ask how did you get there. As citizens, we must understand how did they get to these numbers. It must not just be desktop evaluations.”
Real estate agent, Juan Botha says this would also make it difficult for citizens to sell or buy houses.
“This is completely unfair towards homeowners as they are currently in this objection period or re-evaluation period. Paying unnecessary high rates and taxes on their properties. We strongly believe that there was no method followed by the City of Mbombela to determine the real value of a property. The methodology that should be followed is the comparative market analysis method where you use homes that were sold in a street or neighbourhood and you compare them with the current or subject property that you need to value. You take into consideration the condition of the home, you inspect the home, and the actual size of the home.”
The City of Mbombela Local Municipality has opted not to comment on this issue.
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