February 9, 2023

Baguio City Assessor Almaya Addawe told the city council that their office will study the possibility of increasing the market values of all structures in the city which will result in the increase in building tax.
Currently, the city government is using the schedule of fair market values for buildings that was approved through an ordinance passed in 1995 (Ordinance No. 101, series of 1995).
Addawe said the law mandates the general revision of fair market values on a regular basis not only for lands but also for buildings, but she said this initiative is being hampered by public clamor.
She said her office had received numerous complaints from individuals regarding the high tax rates of their structures.
She added tax rates for structures are relatively high compared to tax rates for lands.
“Talagang mataas ang tax rates ng buildings. For example, for a two-story house, they pay as high as P9,000 to P11,000 per year for the structure but only P900 per year for the lot,” she said.
Addawe said the City Assessor’s Office is reassessing structures in various barangays to reflect a more accurate appraisal. This move was prompted by complaints of taxpayers in which, allegedly, they pay higher than those who have bigger structures.
She said they would finish first the reassessment of structures then weigh afterwards if recommending an increase in tax on buildings is proper. 
In 2021, the city government fully implemented the increase in real property taxes. The fair market value for lands in the city was revised through Ordinance 16 s. 2020.
In Ordinance 16, the assessment level for residential and agricultural lands is fixed at two percent while the assessment level of commercial, industrial, mineral and special classes of lands is at seven percent.
The increase in tax for real properties in the city was opposed by the public, claiming it was  “exhorbitant” and “inequitable.”  
Addawe said the drastic increase in real property taxes in the city was the result of the wide gap in time between the last revision of the fair market value and the current one. 
According to the assessment done by the Department of the Interior and Local Government a few years ago, Baguio was one of the 112 out of the 144 cities in the country that used outdated schedules of market values. This practice, according to the DILG, is in contravention with the Local Government Code. 
In the DILG assessment, the city government of Baguio received poor ratings in 2010, 2011, and 2012. – Jordan G. Habbiling

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