Owners may get back forfeited lots-A A +A
Saturday, October 27, 2012
THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) might soon get back its properties in Buhisan and Tisa that were forfeited by the Cebu City Government because of its estimated P69.5-million tax delinquency.
The City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) recommended granting MCWD an extension to redeem its lots.
Last June 28, the City issued a declaration of forfeiture for the properties over the water utility firm’s failure to pay P69,561,954.35 in real property taxes, including interest and other charges.
The one-year redemption period for the MCWD to get its properties back lapsed the day before.
Last July, MCWD asked for an extension, saying it still wants to verify and survey the lots in question with the help of the City Assessor’s Office.
MCWD general manager Armando Paredes said the amount of the real property tax the City assessed is ambiguous.
Acting City Treasurer Emma Villarete said the City should also give other delinquent real property owners an extension to redeem their properties, which the City auctioned on May 27, 2011. These were later forfeited to the City because there were no bidders.
Not doing so, Villarete said, would violate the equal protection rights, as it “unjustly discriminates” against other delinquent real property owners who are in the same predicament as the MCWD.
Not in best interest
“Besides, it may not serve to the best interest of the City or perhaps may even be construed as to giving any private party unwarranted benefits or advantages,” she said.
She also said the City will be able to generate income from the collection of overdue taxes plus interest, penalties and surcharges, including administrative cost.
“And once redeemed, it will again be placed in the hands of taxable persons or entities, thus, form part of our periodic revenue source to which the City ceased from generating at the time of the declaration of forfeiture,” she said.
During the council’s session last Wednesday, Villarete’s letter was referred to the committee on utilities and budget and finance for report and recommendation.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 28, 2012.