Businesses, residents and other property owners, hit by huge valuation increases by the City of Johannesburg, say the city has inflated property values unfairly to boost its flagging income. Rates bills, which are based on new valuations done every four years, kick in on July 1. One commercial landlord has already launched objections. Businesses, represented by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci), said resulting rates increases would be unaffordable in the context of the weak economy. Organised business wants to meet mayor Herman Mashaba, saying the increases are outrageous and unfair. The city recently sent section 49 notices to property owners, advising them of the new values for their properties with effect from July 1.Businesses and homeowners say they believe valuations have been unfairly inflated to increase municipal revenue while the quality of municipal services has not improved in tandem. Residential property statistics supplied by the council indica...

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