Not the April Fool, writes:
Do not be duped into accepting the latest property valuations, nor the 15% tax increase on property rates.
The Supplementary Valuation Roll for the 2018/2019 financial years/year is open for public inspection on the fourth floor, Valuation Division, Montagu Place Building, Montagu Street, Mossel Bay from 1 April until 30 April. The closing date for the lodging of objections about individual property valuations is Tuesday, 30 April.
Take cognisance of the experience of the ageing population of the Bo-Kaap, where property valuations unexpectedly jumped millions of rands, leading to a dramatic increase in rates and taxes.
What safeguards Mossel Bay's residents from a similar experience?
If the bulk of municipal income suddenly comes primarily from taxes on property rates, what measures are in place to safeguard the fixed-income pensioners from dramatic increases in property valuations?
They retired here because of the DA-led council's policy of several years' marketing the town as the ideal place to invest their retirement nest egg. Mossel Bay, like Cape Town is DA-run. These retirees who bought property here are not on SASSA; they do not all qualify for SASSA, the municipal subsidy or discounts.
They do, however, run the risk of losing their homes when in the long run the municipal property valuation for the home they own outstrip their ability to meet the taxes levied.
The cash strapped - and especially older people - can still cut down on water and electricity consumption but will not be able to escape the property tax.
Learn from the reality of the poor in Mossel Bay, whose water is placed on drip when in arrears and whose municipal service charges debt is deducted off their prepaid electricity purchases.
The dramatic tax increase on property rates is nothing but a wealth tax. Municipal income from electricity is no longer guaranteed, so the municipality needs a different cash cow.
I can almost guarantee you the additional tax you pay on the increased value of your property will not be spent on any upgrades in the area you live. Do you have a clinic or library where you live?
What you do have is a municipality which cannot, or refuses to control illegal land grabs such as at the pig farm; which doesn't act against illegal squatters on municipal land, nor their illegal use of electricity; which has taken away your free electricity, only to give it to the people who pay for neither taxes nor services.