Amnesty on real property taxes not working

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Treasury Office revealed that the 6-month amnesty for delinquent real property owners is not actually working to the advantage of the local government in terms of significantly increasing its collections from real property taxes.

City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias reported for the first three months that the amnesty on delinquent real property taxpayers was enforced, the local government’s collection from real property taxes decreased instead of increasing as envisioned by the proponents of the amnesty on delinquent real property taxpayers.

Cabarrubias claimed for April, the local government’s collection from real property taxes decreased by some P809,000 compared to the real property taxes collected in April 2016, the real property taxes collected in May this year also dropped by P186,000 compared to the same period last year while its real property tax collections for June declined by as much as P1 million compared to the same month last year.

Earlier, the City Council approved an ordinance granting a 6-month amnesty for delinquent real property taxpayers to help increase the city’s collections from real property owners and to allow the delinquent taxpayers to update their payments without penalties and surcharges.

The 6-moth amnesty for delinquent real property taxpayers took effect on March 22 and will end on September 21, 2017.Cabarrubias asserted the amnesty for delinquent real property taxpayers should be the least because it is already proven that it does not work in favour of the local government, thus, the need for local officials to rethink their position when a similar proposal will be submitted to them for action in the future.

If the local legislators had the political will to enact the ordinance that granted amnesty for delinquent real property taxpayers, the City Treasurer challenged them to have the same political will in enacting the appropriate ordinance for the revision of the schedule of market values for real properties and the schedule of business taxes to comply with the pertinent provisions of the Local Government Code in the passage of revenue measures.

According to him the funds that will be generated from the increased tax collections of the local government will be plowed back to the people through the implementation of priority development projects in the city’s barangays and the enhancement of the delivery of basic services to the people.

He remained optimistic that the tax collection on real property will improve in the second semester of the year so that it will be able to fund the implementation of the projects that were included for implementation this year and the improved delivery of services to the residents considering that taxes are the lifeblood of the government.

Cabarrubias called on taxpayers to religiously pay their taxes and not to wait for the grant of amnesty before settling their obligation because he will not favour any tax amnesty in the future while he is the city treasurer. By Dexter A. See

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