BAGUIO CITY – There will be no more tax amnesty in the offing for the city government. Instead, more incentives will be given to those paying their taxes early.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Monday echoed the earlier pronouncement of city treasurer Alex Cabarrubias that this will be the last time that the city will implement a moratorium on real property tax delinquencies as this is deemed counterproductive and unfair to those complying with the law.
“Let us agree that we will not pass another measure implementing tax amnesty and what we should pass instead are measures granting more incentives for the early payers to encourage them to further support our tax campaign,” the mayor told the city council led by Vice Mayor Edison Bilog.
Cabarrubias said the same piece last week when Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. Baguio-Benguet Chapter president Modesto Imayaho Sr. chided the city for granting the penalty moratorium to benefit erring taxpayers rather than those who religiously pay their taxes on time.
Cabarrubias assured that no more tax holiday will be implemented during his term.
The mayor has in the past been discouraging the imposition of tax amnesty the same way that he frowned upon the grant of free rehabilitation and livelihood programs for drug addicts which he said should also be given to drug-free people similarly in need of livelihood aids.
“If we can give these incentives to these drug surrenderers law then we should also give those who are free from drugs equal opportunities for livelihood,” he said.
The city government pursuant to a city council ordinance granted a one-time six-month amnesty on all fines, surcharges, interests or arrears on real property taxes as of Dec. 31, 2015.
The amnesty runs from March 22 to Sept. 21. /Aileen Refuerzo