Lawmaker understates real property taxes-A A +A
Friday, November 2, 2012
ANGELES CITY -- Representative Carmelo ‘Tarzan’ Lazatin has understated his Real Property Tax/Special Education Tax (RPT/SET) receivables when he was still the city mayor here in 2005 by P105 million, according to a Commission on Audit (COA) report, said incumbent Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.
In a press statement sent to Sun.Star Pampanga on Thursday, Pamintuan said that as per COA report of 2005, the RPT/SET receivables for the year was reported at P95 million, which did not tally with the report submitted by the City Assessor to the Department of Finance of P200 million.
“It is puzzling why then mayor Lazatin would understate the city’s tax receivables by as much as P105 million. Is it because they are giving allowance for negotiations by the big realty property owners, which include the Lazatins?” asked Pamintuan.
Lazatin is among the biggest real property owners in Angeles City and nearby areas, according to Pamintuan.
“This could be an indication that tax collections under the nine years of Lazatin as mayor is largely transactional,” the mayor said.
Pamintuan added that the P105 million, if collected, could have meant a lot for the city in terms of infrastructure and services.
“I think that foregoing that much is tantamount to criminal neglect. It is giving concession to the rich,” he said.
“The practice of condoning the tax obligations of the rich is grossly unfair to the salaried workers whose withholding taxes are automatically deducted from their pays,” Pamintuan added.
The COA observed that the actual tax collections from taxpayers as recorded in the Real Property Tax Account Register of 2003 was not reconciled with the assessment report of the City Assessor.
It admonished the city government to set up the RPT/SET Receivables based on the Certified List of Taxpayers of the City Treasurer taken from the Assessment Rolls showing names and amounts due and collectible for the year.
The COA added that the City Assessor should submit the updated Assessment Roll at the beginning of the year to update and reconcile the taxpayers’ records as basis for collecting real property taxes.
Lazatin, who is running for mayor, promised laxity in tax collections while promising free college education and hospital services.
Some sectors have expressed apprehensions how Lazatin would deliver on the latter, while at the same time promising lesser taxes, Pamintuan said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on November 03, 2012.