Committee invited to shed light on implementation of real property taxes

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, invited, in aid of legislation, the City Assessor and the members of the Local Finance Committee (LFC) to shed light on matters concerning the implementation of Ordinance No. 16, series of 2020, or the approved schedule of market values in the city.

In a resolution, local legislators stated that in the implementation of the aforesaid ordinance, several taxpayers have noted the sharp increase in the real property taxes as appearing in the statement of taxes due.

Further, the significant increase in the real property taxes that they are supposed to pay to the local government raised a grave concern for them, as they know that the city government is fully aware of how the pandemic has significantly impacted their income and resources which up to the present, they have not completely recovered from.

The body noted that Section 130 of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 provided that taxes must not be unjust, excessive, oppressive or confiscatory.

Ordinance 16, series of 2020, which approved the schedule of market values in the city was passed on February 3, 2020 during the regular session of the local legislative body.

Moreover, Article II, Section 4 of the said ordinance stated that the implementation of the increase in real property taxes shall be staggered over a period of 2 years such that 70 percent will be applied during the first year and the remaining 30 percent will be applied during the second year.

Part of the approved schedule of market values is the table of the new schedule of unit-based market values for lands for assessment purposes where the same is dependent on the location of the properties that will be taxed in the different parts of the city.

The LFC had been working on the implementation of the revised schedule of market values over the past 25 years where the same was only realized after the said ordinance was passed prior to the prevalence of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 pandemic.

Under the pertinent provisions of the Local Government Code, local governments have been mandated to revise their respective schedule of market values every 3 years to ensure that the real property taxes that will be charged will conform with the prevailing rates based on the standards of the finance department.

Last year, the council called for a public consultation among concerned sectors in the city who raised issues and concerns on the implementation of the pertinent provisions of the said ordinance that paved the way for the local government to request from the affected taxpayers to submit their proposals on the matter that will be acted upon by the city.

The city is still awaiting the proposals from the concerned sector on how to address the issues and concerns that were raised against the continuous implementation of the revised schedule of market values as the computations had already been included in the taxes that will be supposedly paid by the real property owners for this year as the same forms part of the revenues that will be internally generated by the local government.

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