Assessor drops plan to push for real property tax hike-A A +A
Saturday, March 9, 2013
SINCE it is an election year, the Cebu City Assessor's Office will shelve again its plan to increase the tax on real properties.
In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu yesterday, Assistant City Assessor Liezl Gonzaga said it will not be good for the incumbent officials if the City Government implements a general revision of the tax assessment of properties.
Gonzaga said they tried to make the public understand that increasing the real property tax will be good to them, as it would mean more revenues that will fund government projects.
"No matter how we explain it, the public will always have a bad impression when we say increase," she said.
In 2009, the assessor's office proposed to increase the tax on residential, agricultural and commercial lots by 20 percent on the existing tax assessment level.
At present, the tax assessment level for residential properties is at two percent, while commercial lots are imposed a 10-percent tax. Agricultural properties are imposed 4.5 percent tax.
The assessor's office re-filed the proposal in 2011. But it was not approved by the City Council and the public.
The assessor's office has been pushing for a general revision of the tax assessment level of real properties, saying it is "long overdue."
Based on their records, the City was able to revise its property assessments in 2006 yet.
Under the Local Government Code, local government units are mandated to revise property assessments every three years.
Even if 2013 was not an election year, Jun Alicante, chief of the Land Building Appraisal, said increasing the tax assessment level on real properties is "anti-development."
He said imposing higher taxes would discourage investors. "Mamalhin na sila sa laing local government units (They will go somewhere else)," he said.
Alicante also pointed out that when Mayor Michael Rama assumed office in 2010, he discouraged tax increases.
Based on the records of the assessor's office, there are 233,465 real estate properties in the city as of December 2012. Their total assessed value is P73.7 billion but only P27 billion is taxable because P46.6 billion worth of lots belong to schools and the government, which are tax-exempt.
Both the total assessed value and taxable assessed value of real properties are expected to increase once a general revision on property assessment will be made.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 09, 2013.