TLU SA is investigating the possibility of boycotting municipal taxes if the government continues with unreasonable increases in the value of properties.
South African municipalities are in the process of inspecting properties for general or supplementary valuation rolls. The value of a property determines the tariff imposed for services and taxes for said property.
“We are startled and disappointed with how the value of properties, specifically in the agricultural sector, are adjusted up to double the existing value,” says Mr Louis Meintjes, the president of TLU SA. “These increases are ambiguous in light of expropriation without compensation and talk of a zero value on properties. The government must be honest and consequent in its policies and actions. One cannot say the value of a property is zero to execute expropriation without compensation on the one side, but blow up the value of properties to increase levies on the other.”
The law specifies that the market value during the selling of the property determines the base of property valuation. A willing seller and willing buyer agree on the selling price.
The possibility of expropriation without compensation decreases the value of properties as well as the number of willing buyers. With no value or offer, there is no reason for municipal valuers to adjust the amount of the property so dramatically.
If the government strictly follows its own laws and policies, the value of properties – of agricultural and urban land – should in reality decrease if not wholly be scrapped.
“TLU SA appeals the various MEC’s for Local Government to take the necessary steps in terms of Article 81 of the Municipal Property Tax law, by stepping in at valuation rolls where municipalities increased property values inappropriately,” says Mr Meintjes. “We further request a comprehensive impact study to determine the value of agricultural land with expropriation without compensation in mind.
“It seems as if every policy and decision of the government aims at slowing down economic growth,” says Mr Meintjes. “Expropriation without compensation has already affected investor’s trust. Blown up property prices will only add to the situation.
“We will consider advising our members to boycott municipal taxes if the government does not give this issue attention.”
TLU SA is warning landowners to take note of the valuation on properties and to appeal where it was adjusted unreasonable. TLU SA is ready to assist anyone with queries in this regard.