February 22, 2024

The city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance granting amnesty or relief on penalties, fines, surcharges, interests, or arrears to delinquent real property taxpayers in the city.

Those covered by the proposal are taxpayers who are delinquent in their payment as of Dec. 31, those whose properties are undeclared and subject to taxes, and those whose properties are declared but taxes have not yet been paid.

Also covered are properties included in public auction by the city but have not yet been purchased by private persons or entities, property owners with pending cases in court whose cases are in question, and properties sold through public auction whose ownership has not yet been officially transferred due to non-issuance of final bill of sale by the local government.

 The council clarified that the proposed amnesty shall only consist of the waiver by the city from collecting penalties, fines, surcharges, and interests and that arrears on basic real property taxes which are due must still be paid.

Under the proposed ordinance, the tax amnesty or relief will be for six months and will take effect three days from the publication of the approved ordinance in a newspaper of local circulation.     

The council added that all penalties, fines, surcharges, and interests, if any, shall be condoned only upon settlement of real proper taxes within the prescribed period.

Payments of real property taxes under the proposed measure shall be made in cash or installment basis provided that the same will be settled during the amnesty period.

The council tasked the City Treasury Office to prepare and process any compromise agreement, together with the corresponding related documents by and between the taxpayers and the city mayor for and in behalf of the city.

 Any breach in the compromise agreement on the payment under the installment basis or if installment is not paid on its due date, the total unpaid balance of the delinquent real property taxes and the entire amount of penalties shall become automatically due and demandable and shall be endorsed pursuant to laws, rules, and regulations.

 The council added the grant of tax amnesty or relief from delinquent real property taxes is appropriate at this time to alleviate financial expenditures of the citizens aside from the fact that the city recognizes the plight of the people who have suffered from several disasters and the health crisis that continues to bring health and economic damage to the populace.

 The proposal was referred to the appropriate committee for study and recommendation. – PIO release