Residents fume over ‘new’ roll

2009-02-26 00:00

Alarm bells are ringing over Msunduzi Municipality’s latest valuation roll, which was supposed to have sorted out the discrepancies that led to the previous roll being scrapped.

Just days after the launch of the valuation roll, The Witness has been alerted to a number of absurdities. Former KZN Finance MEC Peter Miller, who is also a former registered valuer and sworn appraiser, says his conclusion is that while many properties are fairly valued, “just as many valuations are a complete thumb suck”.

The Northern Suburbs Rates Forum (NSRF) is also up in arms. The forum was formed in response to the discrepancies in the previous valuation roll and assisted residents in lodging over 12 000 objections.

Miller said he found major discrepancies in the values of properties in the same locality, of similar size and with comparable improvements.

He cites two adjacent luxury homes with identical improvements that differ in value by R1,6 million. “Comparatively speaking, these valuations are an absurdity,” he said.

He urged homeowners to inspect the valuation roll — not only regarding the value placed on their own property, but relative to similar properties in the neighbourhood. He said if they don’t do this, they may end up paying more than their neighbour, who may have a larger house.

Members of the NSRF have also expressed concern about the format of the printed valuation roll, which makes it difficult for homeowners to make such comparisons.

They also point out that the objection period is too short, especially as residents have not yet received their property valuations, which is due in the post with the lights and water bill in the next two weeks. Completed objection forms have to be handed back to the municipality by March 20.

By late yesterday, forum chairman Yusuf Bhamjee said he and Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo would meet by the weekend to resolve the concerns.

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