Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill [B33-2013]

Call for comments opened 02 December 2013 Share this page:

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs invites you to submit written comments on the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill [B33-2013]

The Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill seeks, among other things,
▪ to amend the Local Governement : Municipal Property Rates Act, 2004, so as to provide for the amendment and insertion of certain definitions;
▪ to delete the provisions dealing with district management areas;
▪ to provide that a rates policy must determine criteria for not only the increase but also for the decrease of rates;
▪ to provide that by-laws giving effect to a rates policy must be published in terms of the Municipal Systems Act;
▪ to regulate the categories of property in respect of which rates may be levied;
▪ to regulate the timeframe of publication of the resolutions levying rates and what must be contained in the promulgated resolution;
▪ to limit the period within which the Minister may be requested to decide whether a rate is unreasonably prejudicing any of the matters listed in section 16(1);
▪ to provide for the Minister to make a decision in terms of section 16(2) with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance;
▪ to provide for the exclusion from rates of certain categories of public service infrastructure as well as mining rights or mining permits, to provide that infrastructure above the surface in respect of mining property is rateable and the rates are payable by the holder of the mining right or mining permit;
▪ to provide that the exclusion from rates in respect of land belonging to a land reform beneficiary is extended to the spouse and dependants;
▪ to provide that an exclusion from rates in respect of the seashore lapses if any part thereof is alienated;
▪ to provide that a municipality may levy different rates on vacant property;
▪ to provide that a municipality may not recover rates in respect of a right of exclusive use registered against a sectional title unit from the body corporate;
▪ to provide that a person liable for a rate must furnish the municipality with his or her postal address;
▪ to provide that municipalities are not required to value properties excluded from rates;
▪ to provide for the period of validity of a valuation roll to be five years;
▪ to provide for the MEC for local government to extend the period of validity of valuation rolls by two additional years;
▪ to provide that a body corporate is required to provide information to a valuer;
▪ to provide that a mining right or a mining permit may not be considered in determining the market value of property;
▪ to delete the requirement for the payment of interest in specific instances;
▪ to delete the requirement for the establishment of a valuation appeal board in every district municipality;
▪ to provide for an appeal board to include a professional associated valuer without restrictions and with a minimum of ten years experience;
▪ to amend the quorum of an appeals board to include the valuer member of the Valuation Appeals Board;
▪ to amend the dates on which a supplementary valuation takes effect; to provide for the notification of owners of property affected by a supplementary valuation;
▪ to limit condonation by the MEC for local government through the framework to municipalities only;
▪ to provide for more effective monitoring and reporting by municipalities and provinces on critical areas of the implementation of the Act;
▪ to extend the Minister's regulatory powers;
▪ to provide for the phasing in of certain regulations;
▪ to provide for the phasing in of the prohibition on the levying of rates on certain types of public service infrastructure;
▪ to provide for transitional arrangements in respect of municipalities that have been affected by a redetermination of municipal boundaries


Public hearings will be held in Parliament on Tuesday 28 & Thursday 30 January 2014.

Comments can be emailed to Shereen Cassiem at scassiem@parliament.gov.za by no later than Friday 13 December 2013

Enquiries can be directed to Shereen Cassiem on tel (021) 403 3769, or cell 083 709 8533.

Issued by Ms D Nhlengethwa, MP, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs


Background
Since the first four municipalities began valuing and rating in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act (''the Act''), on 1 July 2006, municipal practitioners have grappled with the reality of operationalising a piece of legislation that has largely been theoretical since its effective date of 2 July 2005 and became less so as the implementation of its regulatory framework unfolded over the years. Taking into account lessons learnt from the 27 municipalities that implemented the Act in 2006 and 2007, the Act was amended through the Local Government Laws Amendments Act, 2008. Having regard to the experience gained with the additional municipalities that implemented the Act from 2008, it has become clear that these lessons learnt from the monitoring of implementation necessitate that the Act be amended yet again to render its implementation more seamless and minimise legal and policy misinterpretations that have arisen. In addition, certain key policy amendments are proposed and such proposed amendments are informed by lessons learnt from implementing the regulatory framework of the Act, and continuous engaging with key stakeholders, including individual and organised ratepayers, and practitioners on the challenges encountered with the implementation of the Act over the years in the first phase of its implementation.