Issue of June 22, 2014
     
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Apayao
Benguet
 
OPINION
 

63rd Courier Anniversary Issue
 
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Mayor stresses need to revise city’s property tax valuation
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Monday reiterated the need for the city to update its schedule of real property tax valuation to comply with the mandate of the law.

Domogan told city department heads that the Bureau of Internal Revenue will publish the list of local government units that are not complying with the mandated revision of fair market values for real properties and the city is included in the list.

“It amounts to saying that we are not doing our job to impose the mandated revision,” the mayor said.

Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code mandates the city government to undertake a general revision of real property tax valuation every three years.

Early this year, City Assessor Nilda Navarro said that because of the city government’s failure to implement the mandated adjustments, the City Assessor’s Office has been given a poor rating by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF).

To correct this, Navarro said they worked on a new schedule of market values effective 2015 to be submitted to the BLGF before the end of the first semester.  As a new procedure, the BLGF will be the one to submit the proposed revision to the city council for its consideration.

The last time the city implemented the revision was in 1996. But this was met by protests from taxpayers prompting the city government to instead impose the increase on a staggered basis spread out from 1997 to 1999.

In 2001, the city government adopted Tax Ordinance 2000-001 which imposed lower assessment levels for real properties that tempered the increase and eventually appeased the taxpayers.

Since then, the city has not implemented another revision due to humanitarian considerations.

In 2009, the Assessor’s Office submitted to the city council a revised schedule but the same remained pending before council committee on ways and means cluster B and has now become obsolete as two revision terms have since elapsed.

In the said proposed schedule, the average increase in realty taxes was placed at 400 percent which is way above the 1996 levels considering the length of time that the city did not implement the adjustments.


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