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Update on valuation objections and appeals

The City of Cape Town has to date dealt with some 17 000 out of 37 000 objections received during the 2009 general valuation process and expects to have completed most of them by the end of December 2010.

The City’s Director: Valuations, Chris Gavor, says: “The review of valuations does not require us to visit all properties. We have aerial photography software that can be used to confirm the dimensions of
a property and other features that affect the value. If the objection is confirmed through this methodology it can be addressed quickly and without a visit. Unfortunately, not all objections can be addressed simply and the more complex ones require personal visits by valuers. The valuer will call and make an appointment to visit the owner to discuss the objection. All objectors will receive a letter confirming the outcome of the review.

“We plan to provide all objectors with a written update early in October confirming the progress made with dealing with objections. Property owners will receive individual letters if their objections have not been resolved by then. Objections are being dealt with by geographical area, not according to when they were lodged as this allows for a more efficient process,” he added.

Where an objection is not upheld the owner can appeal to the Valuation Board. The members of the Board are appointed by the Provincial Government and are independent of the City. The Board is expected to start sitting in October and the letters sent to owners advising them of the outcome of their objection will confirm how they should to appeal.

Mr Gavor advised ratepayers on the process to follow regarding the payment of accounts if their objection is not yet finalised: “If you are waiting for your objection to be resolved, you should not stop making rates payments. The Valuation Roll determines the amount of rates that must be billed, but when an objection to a valuation is received, the rates account can be flagged to indicate that an objection is in progress which will temporarily stop any debt management actions. However, the property owner needs to make monthly payments based upon the value assessed by the owner and recorded in the objection. The property owner must apply at any of the City’s Walk in Centres to make these alternative payment arrangements. Interest will still be raised on the outstanding debt until the objection has been resolved, but will be written off if the objection is upheld. Similarly, where overpayments are made, interest will be paid to the owner when the value is finalised,” he said.

The objection process has been streamlined through the upgrading of the software used for valuations and the Valuation Department is constantly striving to improve its efficiency.

For more information contact the City’s Call Centre on 086 010 3089.
Published by Martin Pollack. (2010/09/10)

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