Owners await rates x-factor

2008-03-10 00:00

THERE’S a fair chance that much of the anger and resentment over the municipal property rates in the Msunduzi Muncipality could be deflated by disclosure of the X factor — the proposed rates randage.

This is the figure that will be multiplied by whatever value has been apportioned to individual properties that will, in the end, determine the amount payable by ratepayers to the municipality.

It stands to reason that the higher the figure, the more property owners will pay.

Typically, the figure is expressed by a percentage that, although seemingly low, has enormous consequences once it is multiplied by the apportioned value.

Bear in mind this figure will be the rates payable per annum and once divided by 12, will be the amount payable per month.

By way of illustration, the figure proposed in Johannesburg is 0,5% and in Durban, 1,5%, with obvious monetary implications, as a simple calculation will show.

Assuming that a property is valued at R100 000, on 0,5%, the rates payable are R5 000, on one percent they are R10 000, and on 1,5%, R15 000. Substitute the base amount, and a picture begins to emerge of the implications of the rate randage,

Readers may recall that randage was one of the key objections in the uMngeni Municipality rates stand-off and that the amount was reduced significantly due to the public pressure.

Closer to home, in Pietermaritzburg, that debate has yet to start and, to a degree, has been overshadowed by the base values apportioned to properties.

While much of the anger has been emanating from the north-eastern sector in the city, there are evidently numerous discrepancies.

Residents are querying in their droves the values assigned to their properties, particularly when measured against similar properties.

We would like to know why some properties are not even listed on the website and how such an omission would be possible.

We also understand that residents are being informed that they should confine their objections to the values apportioned to their homes, and not question the roll as such. In other words, don’t relate the valuation of their properties to similar properties which of course contradicts the very essence of market-related value.

In essence, then, there are two components — the actual, or base, valuation of a property, and the X-factor that will be used to calculate the rates payable. It may well be that a low randage will scupper most of the objections, in as much as a 0,01% figure, for example, will amount to a negligible rates bill.

However, until such time that we know what randage we’re in for, residents face a double whammy.

Traffic kisses

THERE are encouraging signs that the city’s traffic cops are taking back the streets. We applaud them for doing their job, and wish them good luck in their endeavour to prepare for the real thing — that of bringing order to the Wild West that is Victoria Road.

Litany of power

SPARE a thought for Michael and Tanya Adey who have suffered the ravages of the city’s electricity woes like few others.

As the owners of The Gables, one of the city’s leading accommodation establishments, they have had to fork out close to R100 000 in blown equipment of various description.

Consider 26 TVs, three gate motors, six fridges, two aircons, four decoders, 14 ceiling fans, more than a 100 energy-saving globes, three amplifiers, and 20 day/night switches lost in the wake of some serious power surges.

Local is lekker

THE local value-added across the Hilux and Corolla sedan models is more than 60%, making these models compliant with the requirements of the European Free Trade Agreement.

This means that these models are eligible for importation into Europe free of duty, making Toyota the first South African vehicle manufacturer to achieve this.

Moreover, vehicles manufactured by Toyota South Africa will be exported to more than 40 global destinations in the coming year.

Last word

A TEACHER was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said: “Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood would run into it, and I would turn red in the face.”

“Yes,” the class said.

“Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn’t run into my feet?”

A little fellow shouted: “Cause your feet ain’t empty”.

derekalberts@mweb.co.za

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