Local councils are calling on home owners to protest about soaring valuations themselves, rather than bring in commercial companies to do the work on their behalf.
If the WOZ valuations are deemed to be too high, the local authorities have to pay the agency procedural costs, and that money would better be spent on local services, the municipalities’ association VNG told broadcaster NOS.
‘We are talking about a bulk, automated approach,’ the VNG said. ‘One push of a button and the protest rolls out of the printer or goes straight to the council. That is not what the law aimed to do when the process costs were established.’
New WOZ valuations are currently dropping through letter boxes all over the country, and are based on property prices in January 2022, when they were at their peak. The valuation is used to calculate various taxes relating to home ownership, as well as the local authority levies.
This year, WOZ values are rising by an average of 17%, but the increase is as much as 22% in Amsterdam for example.
But Dirk-Jan Wolfert, from valuation agency Vastelastenbond, said commercial companies had become involved because local authorities were not taking their residents seriously.
‘We can only earn money if councils have not done their job properly and the WOZ value has to be reduced. If councils do a good job, we can’t earn a thing,’ he told NOS.
In 2021, 51% of requests for a lower valuation were processed through an outside agency, according to research by the valuation monitoring body Waarderingskamer. On average, 40% of the protests succeed, resulting in valuations going down by an average of 9%, NOS said.
Homeowners have six weeks to make a formal complaint about the valuation.
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