Real estate group wants city to defer hike in local taxes

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BAGUIO CITY – The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association – Baguio-Benguet Chapter (CREBA-BBC) called on the city government to defer deliberations on the pending proposal to increase real property and business taxes until such time that actual consultations shall have been conducted with all concerned sectors of the city.

In a resolution crafted by the CREBA-BBC Board of Directors dated 02 February 2015, the group cited that in order to protect the rights and interests of the real estate property owners in the city against the supposed exorbitant increase in real property taxes by the city government, a thorough study and the conduct of massive consultations with the affected stakeholders of the sectors concerned must be properly exercised and observed.

The group proposed that representatives from the CREBA-BBC shall be invited in all consultations in relation to the proposed increase in real property taxes so that there will be a fruitful exchange of ideas and observations in order to come out with possible solutions on how to effectively and efficiently address the tax concerns of the city government.

The proposal to increase real property and business taxes is currently pending deliberations before the city council but it has not yet been acted upon because the local legislative body is still deliberating on the P1.5 billion budget of the city government for this year. The city government reasoned out that it is high time to increase the real property and business taxes by at least 10 percent across the board considering that the local government did not increase its real property taxes for over 18 years and its business taxes for at least 15 years.

Furthermore, the Cordillera office of the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF-CAR) rated as poor the performance of the city government in terms of fiscal management because of its inability to increase its real property and business taxes pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government code that mandates an increase in taxes every three years.

The CREBA-BBC resolution was signed by Mr. Edwin Zamora, Chairman; Engr. Mario ‘Jun’ Alzona, Jr., President and Director; Dr. Cecille Apostol, Executive Vice President and Treasurer; Ms. Feliza Ronquillo, Vice President for External Affairs and Director; Ms. Jennifer Mendoza, Vice President for Internal Affairs and Director; Ms. Socorro Garcia, Auditor and Director and Ms. Geraldine Fajardo, Corporate Secretary and Director.

Alzona explained the sudden increase in real property taxes will definitely have a negative impact on the growth of the city’s housing sector considering that the imposition of added taxes will translate to added expenses to the buyers and the developers.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan welcomed the CREBA-BBC position on the proposed increase in real property and business taxes, saying that there is a need to consider the overall impact of the tax increase to the economy of the city in the future.

“We will listen to the plight of the concerned sectors but they must also understand the predicament of the local government on the matter so that we will be able to arrive at a possible solution to the pressing issue,” Domogan stressed.

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