Saving St Francis - SRA Levy
ST FRANCIS PROPTERY OWNERS SPECIAL RATING AREA (SRA) LEVY
? WHY AN SRA LEVY ?
The St Francis Property Owners proposal to ‘Save St Francis’ was presented at our AGM on 22 December 2016.
We have a choice:
- Do nothing and watch our property investments continue to devalue
- Pay the Municipality more in increased rates and watch 60% of it being diverted elsewhere
- Set up a Special Rating Area (SRA) and have the Municipality pay the SRA levy back to us to be used exclusively for St Francis.
The Municipality is legally obliged to collect the levy on our behalf and pay us the proceeds within 30 days (less an administration fee of some 3%) to St Francis Property Owners Not For profit Company (SFPO NPC). This company is already set up and handles the donations that we collected over the past year to Save St Francis. This same arrangement has existed for 10 years for the maintenance of the Canals by the St Francis Bay Riparian Home Owners Association.
There are many SRAs already set up in South Africa, and they have proven to be successful which is why we have proposed the SRA for St Francis. The proposed levy is 50% of a property owner’s rates. If your property is valued at say R2 million then you will pay approximately R1,120 a month in rates. The SRA levy will be 50% of the R1,120 i.e. R560 per month.
SRA Levy Expenditure – Proposed
Our priority projects are the arterial roads, and Phase 2A of the river/spit/beach project. Phase 2A involves (1) selecting the solution for de-silting the river, getting this sand onto the beach and holding it on the beach and (2) submitting the EIA to DEDEAT for authorisation. We expect Phase 2A to take 12-18 months before we can actually start on the restoration of river, spit and beach.
This levy will last for 10 years to restore and upgrade the infrastructure of this town after which the municipality will be responsible for maintaining it. With your support the SRA levy will begin on 01 July 2017.
The SFPO Committee, the directors on the SFPO NPC and the members of our Technical committee are all volunteers, focussing on the survival and restoration of our town. We are acutely aware of the importance of the retired community to the well-being of St Francis. Most of our SFPO Committee members are retired as well. We are formulating a set of exemption criteria to ensure that those who cannot afford the levy will be exempted. We have asked for input from pensioners to assist with setting this criteria to make sure it is appropriate.
We ask all property owners to sign and submit a consent form either supporting (Yes vote) or opposing (No vote) the SRA levy. If you have any questions please phone Jacky Green at the SFPO office in St Francis Bay at 042 294 0594. Please complete one Voting form per property.
? HOW WILL LEVY BE COLLECTED ?
Rate Payers will pay the SRA levy directly to the Municipality, and will be itemised on your monthly rates bill. The Municipality will then pay it over to the St Francis Property Owners Non-Profit Company (SFPO NPC). This company was established earlier this year to collect and manage donations, and to manage Phase 1 of the Spit and Beach repair projects.
? HOW WILL LEVY BE CALCULATED ?
We propose that it equals 50% of existing property rates
This will exclude:
- Sea Vista Township Property
- Any property owner who meets the exemption criteria
? SAVING ST FRANCIS CAMPAIGN FUNDING STRATEGY ?
- Appeal for donations from property owners
- Establishing a SRA to raise a Levy
- Seeking Corporate Social Responsibility Investment for the upliftment of Sea Vista Township
(eg. Wind Farms)
- Initiating the specific infrastructure projects the Municipality will fund
- Establishing what funding can be sourced:
- Provincial & National Government
- Environmental projects (local and international)