Court dismisses UV tax petition-A A +A
Thursday, February 24, 2011
THE court has ordered the dismissal of a petition the University of the Visayas Inc. (UV) that sought to stop the Cebu City Government from collecting business taxes of more than P19 million from the university.
The dismissal came after the petitioner, Cebu City and City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva entered into a “full and complete settlement” concerning several items of UV main campus on Colon St. and the the UV Pardo campus.
Teodoro Almase, counsel for UV, filed an omnibus motion on Jan. 31 seeking to dismiss the petition against City Hall and Oliva.
In the same motion, Almase also asked the court to withdraw the consigned amount of P28,150, which represents the regulatory fees in favor of UV’s authorized representative Dr. Gelacio Jumao-as.
Judge Generosa Labra of the Regional Trial Court Branch 23 granted the petitioner’s motion.
“Granting the grounds stated in the motion to be meritorious, the motion is granted,” Labra said in her one-page order released yesterday.
UV, represented by its president and Rep. Eduardo Gullas, filed a petition in February 2010 before Cebu City RTC against City Hall and city treasurer Olivia.
UV asked the court to declare the tax assessment made by the City Treasurer’s Office null and void. The university also sought from the court a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
Last Nov. 17, 2009, the treasurer’s office notified UV on Colon St., Cebu City about its unpaid business taxes totaling P19,367,800.89 from 2004 to 2009.
Judge Labra, in her order dated Aug. 16, 2010, denied UV’s application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against City Hall and the City Treasurer’s Office.
“In the case at bar, the petitioner failed to show that there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to issue to prevent serious damage,” Labra said in her two-page order.
UV filed a motion for reconsideration and sought the reversal of Labra’s order. It said the administrative remedy of distraint and levy by City Hall of the university’s personal and real property would be premature.
City Hall, however, opposed the university’s motion for reconsideration, saying the issuance of injunctive relief “will boil down to bad faith” of the petitioner.
In their omnibus motion, Almase said the petitioner and City Hall agreed to a complete settlement of the regulatory fees for permit, zoning, garbage, signage, and billboard, among others, for years 2004 to 2010.
The university and the City also settled business taxes of UV Colon and Pardo campuses provided under Cebu City Tax Ordinance C13.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 24, 2011.