Valley bizmen plead vs tax regulation-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Tax problems are hounding businessmen in the Valley.
An impasse in the amount of taxes to be collected from local business owners here have left over 100 merchants wanting to be clarified.
In a petition being floated an appeal to the municipal treasury, municipal officials of La Trinidad are calling for the suspension of issuance business permits pending the clarification of increase of business permit fees and other pertinent concerns.
The petition is being supported by small, medium and large scale businessmen.
“We are businessmen and law-abiding citizens of La Trinidad who had been dutifully processing our permits as required by the tax code of the Municipality. Since the revision of the tax code on year 2006, we had experienced increases yearly. Although there had been questions, we trusted that our Municipal Treasury, the Municipal Officials and Department Heads are putting the public’s interest first in doing so.”
Businessmen are now asking the officialdom of La Trinidad and the whole of the municipality’s rank and file to revisit the tax code and hold a series of consultations with the different businessmen as well as an investigation on the incident.
Last week, over different increases were imposed on business owners in the valley which pushed the group to protest. Mayor Greg Abalos ordered the Municipal Treasury to use last year’s business tax assessment to appease the business sector.
The petition read, “This year, however, the increase is so drastic and the fees are exorbitant to the point of scaring us that some of us considered closing their establishments. First, Community Tax Certificates fees are suddenly increased by 50 percent to 250 percent.”
It is said the usual P1,000 increased to P2,500, some, from P255 last year to P505. “In this light, it is our prayer that may we be clarified as to the basis and process of such computation,” the petitioners pleaded.
Businessmen are also asking to be clarified on the issue of CTC which are usually acquired through the barangay’s are now being required to proceed to the municipal treasury office. “We are being required to have one CTC per business unit and not per individual. As such, one person holds more than one CTC.”
There were also pre-assessed breakdown of fees now already prepared by the Municipal Treasury. “Isn’t this a bit arbitrary and unfair for us? Not only that. As soon as we were handed the assessment, we were disheartened and shocked beyond recovery up to these days to find that our business permit fee totaled to an amount which either doubled or tripled from last year’s fee.”
The petition details a conversation with municipal treasurer Wilma Lintan. “When some of us complained to the Municipal Treasury that the fees are too high, the stern reply came: ‘Ket adi isara yu nu han yu kaya bayadan.’ Other reply claims, ‘Ewan ko ba sa taas. ‘I-im-implement mi lang met jay tax code nga inpasa ti Sangguniang Bayan.’”
Taxpayers were also allegedly given the run-around. “When the SB members were asked, they also claim innocence to this and pointed to the Municipal Treasurer. At one point, when asked as to the basis of the fees stated on the tax code, one SB member said that they based it on the research of the Treasury Office. When the Treasury was asked again that it was based on their research, they said that true, it was their research but it is just used as a basis, the SB made the fees provided in the tax code.”
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 15, 2013.