Taxes and taxation

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Thursday, August 21, 2014


WHEN one is in business, or owns properties, including his house and lot, he becomes very sensitive to talks from persons who hold public office, particularly agencies that have something to do with taxation or the collection of taxes. In fact, I know of some people who shiver when they hear the word Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), or some such public entities with related function or operation.

But it is a universal dictum that survival of countries, regardless of whether it is ruled by a king as a kingdom, or a democracy under a president or prime minister, depends on the collection of taxes.

That country can be a dictatorship, like the then Nazi Germany with Adolf Hitler claiming control over almost the whole Europe at one time, or Spain with Premier Franco as the supreme head. Or at one time Japan, with Emperor Hirohito, that elicited the use of the first atomic bombs.

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In any case, these nations all over the globe existed not due to the effort of just one man but because of the taxes exacted from the people who either paid the taxes willingly because they believe in their nation’s leaders or by force because they were afraid or threatened by those who ruled or who led their country. Nations are progressive or backward depending upon how the “tax” is used.

You may notice that the term “tax” in the preceding paragraph is placed inside a quotation mark. I just want to show that taxes are collected or “extracted” from the people in various ways and means, collected from the inhabitants in cash or in kind, depending upon the whim of the one collecting or the leader or leader behind the collection.

The point is that the ruling organization is able to perpetuate itself in the position because of the people’s support.

Reports recently say that Mandauehanons, during a public hearing, interposed no objection to the impending increase in taxes. As officials explained the plan, business tax rates have not changed for 15 years now. Deciphered into more understandable form, the people were mum about the city’s plan.

The Mandaue inhabitants, it seems, particularly the property owners will have to pay higher taxes if the schedule of fair market values (SMV) is pushed up by 20 to 300 percent, “depending upon the property classification and location.”

The tax rates for the businesses will also be increased by 10 to 60 percent. However, according to the city treasurer, the increases will be staggered “to give taxpayers time to adjust.”

Observers claim that the business owners will feel the whole burden of the new tax rate only after three years while real property owners would begin feeling the burden in five years.

That may be so, a businessman remarked, but the taxes collected are still money taken from businesses to help defray the cost of governance.

That reiterates the point that the burden of running the government of a nation is really the responsibility of the governed, politically speaking.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 22, 2014.

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