BAGUIO CITY – The City Treasury Office continues to assert that the City Council should no longer entertain requests from event organizers for their exemption from the imposition of the mandatory amusement tax for events in the city to allow the local government to generate additional resources for the priority projects of the local government.
Alex Cabarrubias, in-charge-of-office of the City Treasury Office, is optimistic that the local legislators will be sincere to their new year’s resolution not to grant requests from event organizers for exemption from the amusement tax.
“We had been longing for the non-exemption from the amusement tax of events in the city as we have lost millions of pesos in expected income primarily due to exemptions from the coverage of the amusement tax granted by the local legislative body to event organizers,” Cabarrubias stressed.
Because of the recent pronouncement from the City Treasury Office, the City Council required the said office to submit to the members its comparative data on the years when the local government had been strictly implementing the collection of amusement tax from organizers to the years when the local legislative body had been granting numerous requests for exemption from the collection of amusement tax.
The local legislative body agreed with the contention of the City Treasury Office that there is a need for them to significantly reduce exemptions from the coverage of the amusement tax.
Cabarrubias claimed the local government lost substantial income from events organized over the past several years because the local legislative body exempted some event organisers from paying the amusement tax, thus, the council must refrain from acting on such requests for the City Treasury Office to significantly improve their collections of amusement tax.
Under the City’s Tax Ordinance, organizers of events in the city are required to pay to the City Treasury Office 10 percent of their gross receipts as amusement tax aside from the payment of other regulatory fees embodied in the said revenue measure and that the City Council is empowered to grant exemptions from the implementation of the provisions of the ordinance through an approved ordinance.
Aside from minimizing the granting of exemption from the paying the amusement tax, the City Council is also studying the possibility of significantly reducing the free use of the Baguio Convention Center to help the local government generate added income for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the city-owned convention facility where it invested nearly P350 million to buy it from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and improved it through the the years.
Cabarrubias claimed that the revenue-generating potentials of the Baguio Convention Center must be maximized to recover the local government’s investment in acquiring the facility.
By Dexter A. See