If you are scratching your head, wondering why the value of your property has dramatically increased since four years ago when no changes have been made to your home, blame it on all the houses sold in your suburb since 2013.
Flooded with complaints from home owners disputing the 2017 General Valuation Roll, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality explained that it had not even looked at the 2013 roll when coming up with the latest valuations.
The metro published the latest valuation roll last month and distributed it to individual account holders.
Describing what it calls a “complicated, scientific process”, the metro said it had got all the suburb-specific information of houses sold from the Deeds Office.
It then compared the houses sold to all the households in the Bay by looking at the size of the properties and additions such as garages and outbuildings to determine a value for each of the properties.
There are about 260 000 properties in the Bay.
Municipal valuer George Rentzke said they had looked at the prices of houses sold per suburb and not per street.
“You take similar types of residential properties and compare them with others that were sold,” he said.
The municipality first looks at the prices of houses sold over the last year, and if none was sold in that suburb, they consider the years prior.
“We have to analyse and go into detail. We have to look at whether or not it’s a market-related transaction and not a family sale; we see if it’s a legitimate sale.”
He said they made use of a comparable method of sales process which was in line with the Municipal Property Rates Act.
The formula used for freestanding residential properties differs from that used to determine the values of commercial properties and townhouses.
Rentzke said the municipality sometimes gets it wrong – as it is impossible to physically verify each property in the Bay – which is why there is an objections process.
“We cannot go and entertain every person beforehand. That’s why we have the objection process.
“All the data of the house we can compare with our data and then contact the homeowner about how we get to our information.
“The objection process gives us the opportunity to go into all the detail,” Rentzke said.
The metro extended the deadline for objections to be submitted to Friday May 5.
The original deadline was 3pm yesterday.
Political budget and treasury head councillor Retief Odendaal said he believed that a number of people complained because they did not necessarily understand how the values were determined.
“But the process is fair because in terms of the law, it’s done the correct way,” Odendaal said.
Objection forms can be downloaded from the municipality’s website on www.nelsonmandelabay.gov.za