8.1. If this management process is implemented, can members refuse to pay levies?
Under an SRA/CID the levies are and must be collected together with the Rates and Taxes and can by law, only be collected by the Municipality and then distributed to the PBC in accordance with an agreement.
The budget will be determined in accordance with the plans developed in the workshops by the owners. This is comprehensively addressed in the Q&A document that deals with an SRA/ CID [Q&A Section 16].
8.2. The notifications to date have not given any information regarding levies to be paid once the Trust is formed. Property owners need to be aware that levies are going to be involved, and there will in every likelihood be annual increases to the levies.
Currently, it is not possible to determine a finite number for the levies (if any). This answer will become apparent as negotiations with the Municipality are progressed. What has been done is an exercise where it has been estimated what an anticipated number would look like; and this was presented at a presentation in Marloth Park in February.
It must also be considered that we’re paying about R90 in levies (for gate security & waste collection) now, over and above our Rates.
Beneficiaries/ Owners will provide input into the future budget in workshop environments and this will then be applied over a three-year period, adjusted annually (again, as explained in the presentation).
Currently, as owners, we have no visibility as to how the municipality determines its budget and owners in Marloth Park have very little concern over how our rates and taxes are spent.
8.3. What about people who cannot afford this levy?
This is a social issue. Presently, some people rent their houses so they can justify keeping them. We also have some members of our community that struggle to feed themselves. But we cannot plan or budget the future of Marloth Park based on people who cannot afford to live here. It is no different to any other town in any city in the world.
However, as Marlothians, we do have the ability to make our own social support systems that we can budget for. We can make allowances “based on proof of income” to find ways to support our neighbours.
8.4 My monthly rates and taxes bill is between R700 and R800. For this monthly contribution, all I receive is water, and road services. I take my own garbage to gate 2 when I am there. This may be a simplistic way of looking at it, but if 4500 property owners (I know there are 4500 stands, not sure if they all belong to someone) if each pay a R500 per month levy, that would generate R2,2 million per month in revenue. Surely that is enough income to fund security, game management and law and order in Marloth? I personally would be prepared to pay R1,000 per month in levies for a secure, well managed natural environment without the accompanying pollution and crime.
Yes, you are 100% correct and in principle that is the strategy.
We need to sit with the Municipality and identify basic services that they must provide under law and the top up services a municipality will not normally provide. This will then be drafted into an agreement between the Municipality and the PBC (under the Special Rateable Area MoM).
The Rates and Levy payment paid to the municipality are then to be split according to who provides the service:
- Basic services – Roads, water, electricity, removal of garbage from garbage collection points, etc are paid to municipality, enforcement of rules. (Out of rates)
- Top-up services – Entrance security, anything to do with ecology, implementation of our MP rules, check plans and licences, etc. go to the PBC. (Funded from current some current rates other from current levies). As these services are paid for but not necessarily provided at the moment.
If the owners decide to;
- implement a managed ecological plan we will need to employ an ecologist, and
- implement and enforce our towns rules we will need to employ a town manager.
These two services will need offices and some staff. We have made an estimate of what this would cost over a year. (Average R135 per stand per month).