Umngeni Municipality — Rates Accounts - Umngeni Municipality
This mater dates back to 2008. We have continually tried to address this and other matters and have a file of communication from our side. Umngeni Municipality simply do not respond to queries or handle complaints. Umngeni hide behind consultants on valuations and then also lawyers as everything they do seems to end in a legal dispute.
We have had numerous bad experiences and can detail these. The documents in support are too many to attach but can definitely be supplied. Unnecessary legal fees are the order of the day and in one settlement Umngeni had to write off R 98000.00 Just an unnecessary waste of time and tax payers money.
On this matter - SPD is a sectional title. No rates billing was received for 2 years and then suddenly a HUGE bill was received. This was queried. A lot of communication from our side ensued. We have sent letters registered post, emails, hand delivered and even had meetings. Nothing happened. Nothing gets resolved despite promises made.
In essence what the issue is - is this.
The incorrect valuation was applied to the rates calculations because Umngeni failed to alienate sales. This despite being provided with all the information they need to action these changes
Then a mistake on valuation was made and perpetuated, which totally over inflated the value for rates. All the time we keep on lodging a query. We have tried to help with reconciliations.
We finally got a reconciliation from Umngeni via lawyers. This highlighted where their mistakes were and these were pointed out.
We then very recently needed to get a rates clearance which they withheld for months and nearly lost the sale, they were forced again via lawyers to issue this when it was proven that 24 months rates for current period had been paid.
We prepared a realistic and a factually correct reconciliation taking every sale into account at the correct time. This was agreed with their consultants. We used the same basis for rates calculation as was provided by Umngeni on their schedule. Of course the difference in amount owing was huge. ! R 199 000 +_ versus R 400 000.00
We then asked the consultants and lawyers to agree the schedule with Umngeni so that this matter could be settled.
Low and behold they then advise ALL REBATES back to 2008 have been removed. This contrary to their own schedule which shows all calculations, all rebates but had the Values wrong.
We immediately objected to this change advising that if our rebates are to be removed then to prevent discrimination the entire Umngeni Valuation Roll would need to be subject to the same conditions and all properties would need to be revalued and assessed and ALL owners back billed for rates short paid from 2008.
We have written and asked sincerely for this matter to be carefully considered including discriminatory and unilateral removal of all rebates advising that the cost to Umngeni to redo the entire Valuation Role would be huge.
Besides this rates from 2008 to current would have been paid by now including rebates allowed - had Umngeni in terms of Municipal law dealt with the matter immediately.
Our last communication was sent via email in a last plea to sort this out without legal intervention or the need for this to go to your offices for action. The email was printed and sent registered post and hand delivered. The hand delivered envelope was refused. The registered post is yet to be collected. However the email was delivered. The response - yet again ZERO. This was done in good faith in early March 2016
We therefore request an investigation as follows please : Assessment of our rates matter and the discriminatory removal of our rebates back to 2008. This in itself makes rates increases way beyond the permitted 10% so process has not been followed.
To level the playing field a redo of the entire valuation role for all Umngeni rates payers back to 2008. Discrimination cannot be legal.
An investigation on the amounts written off due to continually refusing to handle issues and the legal fees incurred using tax payers money by this municipality. Lawyers are enjoying a field day at the expense of incompetence in our opinion and what is more an investigation as to what Umgeni employees do - when consultants do their valuation jobs at probably 100% cost increase.
Your assistance in resolving this matter would be greatly appreciated.
We are not happy to deal with Umngeni Municipality any longer as they are unwilling to communicate and their latest action is prejudicial and discriminatory in all respects.