■ Jane B. Cadalig
The city government is expecting to raise P103 million in 2024 if the council approves the proposal to increase business taxes in Baguio by next year.
In her presentation during the deliberation on Oct. 18, City Budget Officer Leticia Clemente said the city is expecting to collect P103M if the council approves the proposed business permit fees updating.
“We are hoping that the tax revenue will increase with the council’s approval of the increase in business permit fees. This is a contingency fund we consider as an income and is already budgeted for 2024,” Clemente said.
She added the projects to be financed by the expected collection will be under the city’s 2024 Development Fund.
“If the increment in the proposed business permit increase is not approved, the P103M will not be realized for 2024 and the projects that were allotted P103M will not be implemented,” Clemente said.
The Local Finance Committee has earlier sought to increase the business taxes by 40 percent, a computation that was made in consideration of the fact the city government did not update the Tax Ordinance for 22 years.
The city government’s estimated budget for 2024 is P2.7 billion higher than an increase of P311 million from this year’s P2.4B budget. Last year, the city budget was P2.3.
Clemente said the city is expecting an income amounting to P1,196,787,000 from local sources in 2024 and another P1,488,487,171 from external sources.
External sources of funds include the city’s share from the National Tax Allocation, which is P1,234,987,171 for 2024.
The other external sources include the city’s share from economic zones, which is P250,000,000 and share from the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office, which is P3,500,000 next year.
The offices with the biggest budget allocation in 2024 are the General Services Office with P449,377,171 which is 16 percent of the city’s total budget.
The City Health Services Office was allotted P333,263,000 or 12 percent of the budget; City Engineering Office – P166,794,000 or six percent of the budget; Mayor’s Office – P131,276,000 or five percent of the budget; and City Social Welfare and Development Office –P123,484,000.
The Office of the Sangguniang Panlungsod has a budget of P118,100,000; Environment and Parks Management Office –P111,042,000; Treasurer’s Office – P97,846,000; City Buildings and Architecture Office – P88,117,000; and City Administrator’s Office – P69,114,000.
The City Veterinary and Agriculture Office was allotted P66,448,000 or two percent of the budget.
The other offices’ annual allocation comprise one percent of the city’s total budget such as the Baguio City Police Office, Human Resources, City Planning, Sustainability, and Development Office, Department of Education, and Assessor’s Office among other offices.