Mayor: Tax Rate Increase Must be Reasonable
Volume XVII NO. 50 October 4, 2014
BAGUIO CITY – The city government will ensure that the increase in business and realty tax rates being planned for implementation here will be reasonable, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said on Wednesday.
The mayor said the city is conducting public consultations with the various sectors to get their sentiments and to guide the city in determining what is reasonable to both the city government and the taxpayers.
“I hope they could speed up the consultations and hearing to strike up what is reasonable so that the long overdue tax adjustments can be acted upon as soon as possible,” he said.
The mayor said he will propose a conservative increase in the executive budget for 2015 due to moderate increase in the expected income which he said cannot be maximized due to the antiquated tax rates.
He said the tax adjustments are now obligatory as the rates are now outdated and not in accordance with the law.
City treasurer Alicia Onoza earlier said the city is currently studying a proposal for a 10 percent increase in business taxes under Tax Ordinance No. 2000-01 while city assessor Nilda Navarro said they are updating a schedule of fair market values for submission to the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) and eventually to the city council for approval.
Onoza said the business tax increase is now a must as the last time the city hiked the revenue rates was in 2001 or 13 years ago. She said the proposed increase is reasonable as the city has practically imposed only a ten percent adjustment from the 1974 rates under Ordinance No. 588 -74 and since then, the rates have remained leaving the city at the tail end of nearby cities like Urdaneta and Dagupan in Pangasinan and San Fernando City in La Union which levy business taxes higher by as much as 500 percent.
Navarro said the city needs to update its schedule of real property tax valuation to comply with the New Local Government Code or the Republic Act No. 7160 provision which mandates local government units to undertake a general revision of real property tax valuation every three years.
The last time the city implemented the revision was in 1996 and since 2001 when the city government adopted Tax Ordinance 2000-001 which imposed lower assessment levels for real properties, the city has not implemented another revision due to humanitarian considerations.
As a result of the city’s failure to comply with the revision every three years, the city was named as among those non-complying LGUs by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) while the city assessor’s office has been given a poor rating by the BLGF.
Navarro assured that a minimal assessment level will be recommended to temper the expected huge increase in the market value as a result of the city’s passing up on several revision terms since 1996./A Refuerzo