BAGUIO CITY – Members of the City Council decided to reset their special session to deliberate on the proposed ordinance prescribing for the revision of the schedule of market values for the city’s real property taxes from September 27 to October 2, 2017 to guarantee the full attendance of local legislators.
The local legislative body decided to adjourn its earlier scheduled special session to deliberate on the proposed ordinance prescribing for the revision of the schedule of market values because of the alleged lack of quorum of its members who arrived late for the said meeting.
The proposed revision of the schedule of market values for the city’s real property taxes has been pending with the local legislative body since 2016 after the attention of local officials had been called by the Department of Finance and Bureau of Local government Finance for the local government to update its alleged out-dated schedule of market values considering that the last amendment done on the said measure was in 1996.
Councilor Elmer O. Datuin, chairman of the City Council Committee on Finance and Appropriation, underscored the importance of the local government having to pass its revised schedule of market values for its real property taxes so that it will not be overtaken by events specifically the updated zonal valuation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) where its rates are much higher than the proposals in the proposed ordinance.
He said the proposed ordinance had undergone at least 24 public consultations over the past several years that is why it is high time for the local legislative body to already act on the matter to update the prevailing schedule of market values for the city’s real property taxes to maximize the potentials of generating the sufficient resources from the utilization of lands within the jurisdiction of the local government.
Ma. Almaya Adawe, City Assessor, said the pending revision of the schedule of market values was revised to heed the call of numerous sectors wherein the assessment level for commercial properties was reduced from 35 percent to 8 percent and the residential properties from 8 percent to only 6 percent.
Based on data obtained from the city Assessor’s Office, 55 percent of the lands in the city are classified for residential purposes, 39 percent of the lands are government reservations, 5 percent are said to be other classifications while 1 percent of the lands is said to be institutional.
However, Almaya clarified that government reservations include the road networks, forest reservations, parks and public places that are commonly used by the public in their daily activities, thus, every taxable property contribute in the generation of resources used by the local government for the maintenance of the said places.
She explained that government reservations and institutional properties are reportedly exempted from being charged real property taxes considering that the said lands are tax free pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations and the said land holdings are not included in the computation of the collections of real property taxes that will be collected by the local government from the utilization of the said properties.
By Dexter A. See