Suspension of hike in real property taxes pressed

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Local legislators are pushing for the suspension of the implementation of Section 4 of Ordinance No. 16, series of 2020 that approved the schedule of market values in the city.

Under Resolution No. 187, series of 2022, the council stated that with the gathering restrictions imposed by the local government due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and due to scarce business opportunity, some small businesses and religious congregations have opted to close considering the increase in rent due to the new schedule of market values which is reportedly killing small businesses and is contrary to the battle cry ‘we heal as one.’

Under Section 4 of Ordinance No. 16, series of 2020, the implementation of the increase in the real property taxes shall be staggered over the 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 which means that an additional burden on the real property owners and also the lessees to whom the real property owners would transfer or pass on the burden by increasing the rentals.

The body claimed that the power of taxation is sometimes also called the power to destroy, therefore, it should be exercised with caution to minimize injury to the proprietary rights of a taxpayer.

Further, the council added that the power of taxation must be exercised fairly, equally and uniformly, less the tax collector will kill the hen that lays the golden egg.

Section 219 of Republic Act (RA) 7160 otherwise known as the Local government code of the Philippines, as amended, provided that the provincial, city or municipal assessor shall undertake a general revision of property assessments within 2 years after the effectivity of the said Code and every 3 years thereafter.

Earlier, the local legislative body passed Ordinance No. 16, series of 2020 which increased the schedule of market values of real properties in the city pursuant to the pertinent provisions of laws, rules and regulations.

The 70 percent increase in real property taxes was already implemented by the local government and the remaining 30 percent of the projected increase was similarly implemented by the city this year.

Real property owners appealed to the local government to consider the serious negative impact of the ongoing pandemic to the economic activities of the people by not increasing the tax rates to allow them to be able to cope up with the difficult situation that they are currently encountering.

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