BY CATHERINE MUCHIRI
THE Harare City Council has embarked on a property valuation exercise for all its non-residential properties aimed at coming up with a valuation roll for ease of billing.
The council last carried out a similar exercise in 2008.
Valuation rolls are lists of properties compiled for the purposes of billing and taxation.
The Urban Councils Act provides for the creation of valuation offices by councils.
Harare acting city valuer and estates manager Kennedy Chikandamina confirmed that the local authority was now updating its property database.
“The assessment will only be carried out on non-residential properties. This assessment requires determining the size of land and the location, of which for residential properties, can be retrieved from the land records in our system,” he said.
A valuation roll has to be updated every 10 years.
However, the period can be extended by a further five years subject to a ministerial consent by statutory instrument.
Harare Residents Trust spokesman Marvelous Khumalo said valuation rolls were necessary.
“This assessment exercise is very important because a city should have a clear and up-to-date database in order to establish whether rates are being paid accordingly. This is beneficial to the residents in the long run as it enables the council to deliver services efficiently,” he said. “It is also important because council can determine if, indeed, the commercial properties are being used for their registered purposes and not being abused.”
Auditor-General Mildred Chiri in her reports has said that a number of local authorities could be losing millions of dollars in potential revenue as they were operating without valuation rolls and or lack of title deeds to their properties.