Baguio City’s local finance committee (LFC) asked anew the city council to upgrade the fair and current market values of real properties that “have stagnated since 1996” despite a Local Government Code provision that revision of the same must be made every three years.
The LFC reiterated the need for the city to increase the real property values in an addendum to its endorsement last April of the applications of two establishments to register as information techno-logy centers under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
“With the growing concerns of the city needing financial support, it is imperative that we take advantage of the power of taxation granted under Republic Act 7160 to ensure continuous delivery of basic services to our residents in the most effective and efficient way,” the committee stated.
While interposing no objection to the applications of Abanao Square and Neutrinos IT center with the PEZA, the committee noted that the realty tax paid on land for the said enterprises is very low considering that the properties are located within the central business district.
The LFC is chaired by City Budget Officer Leticia Clemente and is composed of the City Treasurer, City Accountant Antonio Tabin, City Administrator Carlos Canilao, Planning Officer Evelyn Cayat, and City Assessor Augustus Medina.
Medina, in September 2010, submitted to the city council the proposed revised schedule of values for land, buildings, machineries, plants, and trees. He cited in his transmittal letter a Department of Finance order instructing all city assessors to undertake a mandatory general revision in accordance with provisions of the Local Government Code.
Medina said the “schedule of values for land reflects an increase of 298.60 percent over the schedule of values approved in 1996 that was fully implemented in 1998 under Tax Ordinance 2000-01.”
The schedule, he said, was derived from data gathered from advertisement, mortgages, and value sales transition from the monthly report of the Register of Deeds.
The city council is expected to act this Monday on the requests of Abanao Square and Neutrinus Enterprises for endorsement to their IT accreditation with the PEZA and also on two measures seeking condonation of surcharges to delayed or delinquent real property taxes.
Up for discussion is a proposed ordinance giving amnesty on delinquencies in real property taxes authored by Vice mayor Daniel Fariñas, and another measure co-authored by seven city councilors providing rules and regulations for an incentive plan for the payment of real property tax delinquency.
Councilor Edison Bilog authored the second measure, with councilors Betty Lourdes Tabanda, Fred Bagbagen, Peter Fianza, and Erdolfo Balajadia as co-authors calling for discussion en banc, and councilor Elmer Datuin signifying with certain amendments.
Councilors Nicasio Palaganas and Joel Alangsab recommended the proposals be referred to the city treasurer for comment.
The council’s committee on ways and means and finance cluster B recommended the approval of the two proposals on second reading.