Issue of May 14, 2017
Mt. Province

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No more tax amnesty in city
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

The city government will no longer implement a tax amnesty.  Instead, more incentives will be given to those paying their taxes early.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan echoed the earlier pronouncement of City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias that it would be the last time that the city will implement a moratorium on real property tax delinquencies as the reprieve is deemed counterproductive and unfair to those complying with the law.

“Let us agree that we will not pass another measure implementing tax amnesty and what we should pass instead are measures granting more incentives for the early payers to encourage them to further support our tax campaign,” the mayor told the city council led by Vice Mayor Edison Bilog.

Cabarrubias said the same piece last week when Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. Baguio-Benguet Chapter president Modesto Imayaho Sr. chided the city for granting the penalty moratorium to benefit erring taxpayers rather than those who religiously pay their taxes on time.

Cabarrubias assured that no more tax holiday will be implemented during his term.

The mayor had been discouraging the imposition of tax amnesty, in the same way that he frowned upon the grant of free rehabilitation and livelihood programs for people with substance use disorders which he said should also be given to drug-free people similarly in need of livelihood aids.

“If we can give these incentives to these drug surrenderers, then we should also give those who are free from drugs equal opportunities for livelihood,” he said.  

The city government, pursuant to a city council ordinance, granted a one-time six-month amnesty on all fines, surcharges, interests, or arrears on real property taxes as of Dec. 31, 2015.

The amnesty runs from March 22 to Sept. 21.

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