City officials liable for non-passage of tax reforms

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan urged members of the City Council to pass the pending amendments to the schedule of market values for real property taxes and the updated business taxes in order to be able to comply with the provisions of the Local government Code of the Philippines (LGC) and other related laws, rules and regulations, not to put added burden to the local residents but to ensure compliance to existing laws.

The local chief executive admitted if only the non-passage of the pertinent amendments to the real property and business taxes will be a ground for the dismissal of local officials, then officials of the local government will be the primary candidates for dismissal for negligence of their duties in passing the appropriate legislations mandated by law.

“We must already come out with a reasonable increase in our taxes which were never increased for the past two decades. We must work together for the development of our city without sacrificing the greater interest of the majority of our populace,” Domogan stressed.

Under the provisions of the LGC, the schedule real property taxes must be revised every three years while business taxes should be amended every five years, but for the city, the last time that the schedule of market values was in 1996 while that of business taxes were amended only in 2000.

The city mayor revealed that the city already received three letters from the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) reminding it of its obligation related to real property taxes and business taxes because the existing city tax ordinances are allegedly antiquated.

He said that consultations will be held with stakeholders in the formulation of the necessary local legislative measure to revise the relevant tax ordinances.

Further, he admitted the failure of the local government to update the tax measures significantly affected the ranking of the city in the ratings of the National Competitiveness Commission (NCC), and, enactment of legislation is needed the soonest possible time for the city to be able to catch up with whatever lapses in its existing local tax measures.

The city’s local finance committee submitted to the City Council the proposed schedule of market values for the real property taxes and the proposed business taxes but there is a need for the said committee to introduce the proper amendments to upgrade the tax rates.

Domogan explained people doing business and those who own properties in the city must pay the appropriate taxes as part of the city’s income to support the implementation of priority development projects and contribute in improving the delivery of basic services./By Dexter A. See


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