The IBI Real Association in Chiclana has exposed a real grievance of the people against the Chiclana Town Hall – that of unfairly, and probably illegally, charging the incorrect rate of IBI for the majority of properties in the area.
In an attempt to help people obtain fairness and openness, IBI Real has been holding a succession of outdoor office surgeries where people can come along and show their support by signing a petition (more about that below), and complete a form for submission to the council demanding that the correct rate of IBI be applied to their property. This form also demands a review of all properties in order to achieve a fair Valor Catastral which takes account of the huge slump in property values; the last such valuation was conducted in 2007 and became effective in 2008 – when property prices were much higher than now. A note on IBI and Valor Catastral is shown on this website in English to help illustrate the relationship between the two.
IBI Real held its first outdoor office surgery on Fri 18 July 2014 and these surgeries will continue throughout the summer. They are manned by a number of IBI Real members who can offer advice and assistance in both Spanish and English. The aim of these surgeries is twofold: firstly, to allow people to challenge the council on their IBI category (rustic or urbano) by completing a form which states that there is a Supreme Court ruling directing all councils to properly apply IBI to every property: secondly, to invite people to sign a petition calling on Hacienda to apply the law fairly on IBI by instructing Chiclana council to conduct a revision of all property values (Valor Catastral). This petition has, so far, attracted some eight thousand signatures from the local populace. This is a significant proportion of the voting population and signals that people are now fed up with a council which is perceived to ride roughshod over the property rights of its residents. The petition will be delivered, by hand, to Hacienda in Madrid at the end of the summer; it will send a strong message that the people of Chiclana are angry at the way in which this issue is being treated in such a cavalier manner by the local council.
The petition form is shown, in English, on this website as is the form to be completed and submitted to the Chiclana council (IBI office in the Town Hall). These documents are translations of the Spanish forms that individuals are being invited to complete and are available at the public surgeries (please note it is the Spanish versions that should be completed). A number of expats (not just British) have already signed the petition. These outdoor office surgeries are proving to be very popular with the Chiclana people and they are now being held on Tuesdays and Fridays directly outside the Chiclana Town Hall from 1000 to 1330hrs. A recent initiative has been to start operating another surgery on Saturdays (1015 to 1300hrs) adjacent to the Red Cross building at the beach in La Barossa.
In response to the IBI Real campaign, the council has attempted to discredit it by claiming that IBI Real is politically motivated. A leading council official has also openly stated (on Chiclana TV8) that forms submitted by the public requesting a true and honest rate of IBI will be ignored and ‘placed in the rubbish bin’. These statements would seem to be the actions of a public body intent on ignoring the law and wishes of a significant number of people, not to say the Spanish Constitution itself. The IBI Real Association has repeatedly made clear that it is not politically motivated and was only formed to provide a voice for the thousands who believe themselves to be wronged by Chiclana council in the matter of taxable property values (Valor Catastral) and the rate of IBI applied to their property. This agenda has also been extended to wider irregular housing issues; the lack of a town plan significantly contributes to the uncertainty of owners and tenants in knowing their rights. The most recent submission of the town plan (Jan 14) has been rejected by the Junta de Andalucia and the council told that it must take account of the whole of Chiclana in its urbanisation plans.
To remain a credible force, the IBI Real Association is always seeking new members. Therefore, in addition to signing the petition to show your support for change and honest application of urban law, you are invited to join the Association for just 4 Euros per year. Membership will give you access to a team of people with local knowledge of urban issues. Membership also confers eligibility to a discounted rate on any legal fees that you might incur if you decide to use the IBI Real affiliated lawyer.
IBI Real meetings are held weekly on Thursday evenings (1900hrs in summer and 2000hrs in winter) in the Antonio Machado building in Calle Dr Pedro Velez 15, Chiclana. Meetings are conducted in Spanish but an issue involving an urban grievance against the council can be presented at a regular IBI Real meeting in English, although an answer might not be given straightaway if lengthy translation is required. The meetings are open and provide a regular platform for people to seek advice on urban issues (for free). Meetings will recommence, following the summer break, in the latter half of September (provisionally 16 Sep 14). We would be delighted to see you at a meeting, even if it is just to see what goes on there.
IBI Real can be contacted at any time, in Spanish or English, by using this website www.asociacionibichiclana.com , clicking ‘Contacto’ at the head of the homepage and leaving a message in English (or Spanish). For anyone who might wish to consult a lawyer on any property matter, IBI Real is trying to organise a date and venue in September 2014 where you can apply for a free initial consultation with a reputable lawyer (not based in Chiclana and speaks/writes English) on any property issue – not just IBI. Details will be released in due course.
Please use the website to communicate any questions or concerns you might have about any of the above. Thank you for taking the time to visit this website and read this note.