BAGUIO CITY – Members of the City Council agreed to hold continuing special sessions to deliberate on the proposed revision of schedule of market values for its real property tax to meet the city’s increasing fund requirements for its priority development projects and enhanced delivery of basic services.
The local legislators decided to hold another special session on Monday, October 9, 2017 to continue the discussions on issues related to the revision of the city’s schedule of market values for real property tax purposes to reach a compromise on assessment levels.
Initially, the local legislators agree on the need for the city to revise its outdated schedule of market values as the last revision was in 1996.
The local legislators also agreed to the proposal to implement the proposed increase in a staggered basis within a 3-year period.
City Assessor Ma. Almaya Adawe explained to the city councilors that the city will only earn only more than P311 million from the revised schedule with around P109 million accruing to the Special Education Fund with 70 percent of the balance left with the city government and the remaining 30 percent will be equitably distributed to the city’s 128 barangays.
Under the proposed revision of schedule of market values, the City Assessor’s Office adjusted the market values of the real property taxes with the prevailing fair market value of the properties in the commercial and residential areas around the city but it drastically reduced the assessment levels from 35 percent to 8 percent for commercial areas and from 12 percent to 6 percent for the residential areas.
City Legal Officer Melchor Carlos P. Rabanes confirmed that the city council is empowered to decide on the increase in real property taxes through the revision of schedule of market values and the rates to be imposed will be dependent on the sound discretion of the local legislators.
Almaya denied the insinuation of some local legislators that the proposed increase in the city’s real property taxes was lumped all into the proposal since the last revision made in 1996 by explaining that her office simply updated the market values to what is fair and competitive with prevailing market value in the different parts of the city.
The local legislative body aims to pass the proposed revision within the next two months so that the new rates will be effective starting 2018 and that it considers updating the values again after three years pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Code.
Some members of the business sector have proposed increasing the real property taxes by 100 percent for commercial areas while 50 percent is an acceptable increase for those in the residential areas.
By Dexter A. See