Wednesday , April 25, 2018

Buzz: Would Rama risk 2016 polls with tax increase?


... IN ANNOUNCING A REVIEW OF REAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS IN CEBU CITY, Mayor Michael Rama said, “We’re treating revenue as if we were in a crisis.”

What does that mean? There’s no financial crisis, there’s no money problem but City Hall would act as if there were?

Rama, a City Hall watcher says, apparently wouldn’t want to say City Hall could hardly make both ends meet and couldn’t pay its obligations on time.

It’s either that, which is what his political rival has alleged, or the city’s financially solid but merely has cash flow difficulties.

But the mayor, who had resisted increase of realty tax rates for so long, must see a real need for expanding the city’s major revenue source.

... WHEN WILL TAX INCREASE TAKE EFFECT? Mayor Rama said, “I’m not saying this year but we must take steps. This administration and this year are very serious, clearly.”

Surely, it won’t take effect this year. Revision of assessments requires time for tax mapping and studying rate levels, as well as public hearings in which specific objections will be heard and addressed to.

It might not be next year, an election year. Mayor Rama would face the risk of a voters’ backlash. He’d be burdened with a devastating issue affecting most taxpayers.

If he’d risk it though and he’d lose, it would be the next mayor who’d gain from the gamble.

Rama said his administration is “very serious.” Seriously.

Love affair not blind item anymore

WHAT’S THIS TALK about a local public official having a girlfriend in another city?

It had been going around privately in coffeeshops and bars and as a blind item in radio talk shows.

Yesterday though, two radio commentators casually mentioned on air the names of the people involved in the “love triangle”: the man, the woman, and the other woman, including the cities where they are residing.

Commentator A mentioned the couple’s names and commentator B chided his partner, saying the other woman might be listening.

Battle of two bands

REP. Bebot Abellanosa and Cebu City Councilor Gerry Carillo are the likely contenders for the south district House seat in 2016.

And each has a live band.

The repertoire of Bebot’s band will include Aimee Torres’s “Pusong Bato” (Heart of Stone), which Bebot’s band would play more frequently next year, when his camp would hype the issue of Carillo having allegedly stoned on July 7, 2013 a teenaged boy and hit him in the head.

How about Gerry’s band? It must be looking for a suitable song that would play up the issue against Bebot: an ombudsman decision last November dismissing the congressman from the House for grave misconduct in connection with a lucrative scholarship contract.

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