Taxes and taxpayers-A A +A
Monday, October 14, 2013
ACROSS the years, nay the decades, men and the “organization” they call government have always been haggling over the taxes or the amount that should be paid for maintaining peace and order in their community. The haggling is over the amount that the governed must pay the government--or essentially the people who manage the organization in exchange for their services.
Thus, the governed, by tradition, whether their government is democratic or totalitarian, have by necessity obliged to pay taxes to their chosen authorities in order for their workers in government to continue on serving them.
And so we and our elected officials who are obliged to serve according to the laws, rules and regulations agreed on beforehand, live with the necessity of having to pay taxes.
In the front page report of this daily yesterday, it was said that Talisay City is planning to increase its business tax penalties “from P250 to P5,000,” the reason being that the people who are supposed to pay taxes are not religiously fulfilling their obligation.
Likewise, in the City of Lapu-Lapu, its government has reportedly started to collect occupational taxes from the workers at the Mactan Export Processing Zone (Mepz). Local governments have a share internal revenue taxes.
In Talisay, the city mayor said there are now more than 2,000 businessmen in the city, but many of them do not comply with their tax obligation even if the amount is minuscule. The increase is meant to make them aware that they have to pay their taxes religiously. But the vice mayor said that the high penalty might drive potential investors away.
In Lapu-Lapu City, at least P5 million “will be added to the city’s revenue every year once the workers pay the P100 tax which is collected once a year.” The city, it is said, has not been collecting the occupational tax from the workers of (Mepz) for many years.
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza), however, has questioned the city’s right to undertake the collection of workers’ taxes.
The Peza is an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry and is tasked to promote investments, extend assistance, register, grant incentives to and facilitate the business operations of investors in export-oriented manufacturing and service facilities inside Special Economic Zones.
But Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza has reached a compromise agreement with Peza.
Under the agreement, the city can collect various relevant taxes.
At any rate, the fact remains that the structure of local governance and the national agencies in charge of special services to maintain and sustain public good all throughout the nation must come to a basic understanding and cooperation.
They must join hands in the collection of taxes to support the basic necessary services needed to buoy and sustain common economic services for national growth and development.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2013.