Baguio still OK without tax hike

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored the city continues to develop as a premier tourist destination and a potential investment hub even without the mandatory increase in real property and business taxes mandated by the provisions of the Local Government Code (LGC) of the Philippines requiring local government units to increase their real property assessment valuation every three years and business taxes every five years.

The local chief executive revealed that the last time the city increased the real estate market values was in 1996, while the last time that of the business taxes was in 2001.

“We were able to effectively and efficiently implement our priority development projects and consistently deliver the necessary basic services to our people even without increasing our taxes prescribed under the provisions of the Local government code. We were able to make do with our available resources in order to sustain the pace of development in the city through the years,” he stressed.

It was learned that the Bureau of Local government Finance (BLGF) had repeatedly reminded the city on the need to update its schedule of market values and business taxes pursuant to the provisions of the LGC.

Domogan pointed out the city was able to implement priority development projects and enhance the delivery of basic services because the city was able to generate internally generated funds from real property and business taxes without increasing the same.

However, he admitted that the city’s competitiveness level in the national scene and its full compliance to the Seal of Good Local governance has been affected by the failure of the city council to pass the updated schedule of market values and business taxes in compliance to the provisions of the LGC.

According to him, the city remains committed in the implementation of its programmed development projects, especially in the different barangays, and the delivery of the required basic services to the people with the use of the available resources of the government as the issue on the increase of taxes will not hinder the city from doing so in order to sustain the potential development potentials of the city that will translate to better economic growth.

Of the city’s P1.62 billion budget for this year, more than 50 percent of the same come from internally generated sources such as real property and business taxes among others.

The city mayor appealed to local residents to religiously pay their taxes to the city government because taxes are the lifeblood of the government since the benefits of the taxes that people pay are plowed back to the people through the implementation of priority development projects in the city’s 128 barangays and the enhanced delivery of basic services to the people.

Under the LGC, local governments are mandated to increase their respective schedule of market values every three years while business taxes should be increased every five years in order for provinces, cities and municipalities to cope up with the prevailing trend of the times and generate sufficient resources that could be brought back to the people in terms of projects and services./Dexter A. See


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