UGANDA, Fort Portal | Real Muloodi News | Fort Portal City recently conducted a property revaluation exercise throughout the City, targeting commercial properties that are subject to property rates tax. Property owners in Fort Portal City now have until September 15 to view, and if applicable object to, the valuations of their properties upon which property rates will be levied for the next 5 years.
The comprehensive GIS-enabled property revaluation exercise was carried out by REDAH Informatics Ltd, with the support of USAID, as part of the Domestic Revenue Mobilisation for Development (DRM4D) project.
Property rates in Fort Portal City will be levied at 5% of the property’s rateable value. Rateable value means a property’s yearly rental value (regardless of whether the property is rented or not), minus a conservancy allowance (allowance for expenses).
REDAH Informatics’s qualified and registered valuation surveyors determined the rental value by assessing the age, characteristics and condition of properties throughout the city, taking into consideration market rental values of neighbouring properties with similar characteristics.
Although, the measure of rental value doesn’t mean the property must be rented; it is merely a measure of property value. Business premises that are owner-occupied are still eligible to pay property rates.
The office of the City Town Clerk of Fort Portal City Council issued a public notice yesterday that copies of the supplementary valuation lists are currently available for inspection at Fort Portal City Council offices and its Divisional Council Offices. The lists will be available for a period of 30 days from August 15 to September 15, 2022, in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2005 under Sections 11, 12, 14 and 24.
Property rates are levied on commercial properties. It is a tax on all buildings or structures that are used for the purpose of business, including rentals. However, this type of tax does not apply to residential homes where the owner resides, or to vacant land.
The hope is that after the current valuation exercise, tax revenues will increase because of the many new property developments that have taken place since Fort Portal attained city status.
Property owners in Fort Portal City have up until 15 September 2022 to view the list, and if applicable object if you are unhappy with any of the following:
- The inclusion of a property in the draft valuation list that you believe should be exempt from having to pay property rates (for example, a residential home in which the owner lives)
- Value of the property stated, or any other statement made or omitted from the draft valuation list, or
- The entire property value is assessed as a business when only part of the property is used for business or partially owner-occupied
To object, you must complete a notice of objection form, and submit it to the local authority before September 15, 2022.
In addition to owner-occupied residential homes and vacant land, some other types of properties are also exempted from paying property rates tax. Such properties include places of worship, crematoriums, and public schools.
If you disagree with your property’s valuation assessment or believe your property should be considered exempt from paying property rates, head to Fort Portal City’s Council offices, or the Divisional Council Offices, and complete a Notice of Objection form before the September deadline.
If you don’t lodge a Notice of Objection prior to September 15, then you will miss the opportunity to have your objection heard by the valuation court.
Where to Submit the Objection Form Once Completed
The objection form upon completion is submitted to the desk officer at any of the locations mentioned above. It can also be emailed to [email protected]
The objection files will be submitted to the office of the City Town Clerk at the end of the display period, which is September 15 2022.
Objections submitted within the stipulated time will be heard by the Valuation Court.
If the valuer agrees that they made a mistake, that the property has been wrongly included in the draft valuation list, or any statement was wrongly made or omitted about the property the valuation court may, on application by either party, order the property to be valued again.
When the valuation court has completed the hearing of all the objections to the draft valuation list and changes have been made, the chairperson will certify the draft valuation list under his or her signature, and publish a public notice in the newspaper.
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