Angeles to DOF, Tax Watch: ‘Check facts’

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014


ANGELES CITY -- Officials here denied reports published by the Department of Finance (DOF), Tax Watch Philippines and the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) stating that the Angeles is one of the 116 cities in the country using an outdated Schedule of Market Values (SMVs) on real property tax.

The Angeles City Government's reaction came after the report was seen in an advertisement in the Philippine Daily Inquirer printed on their June 11, 2014 issue, and is now asking the agencies to "check the facts."

It was stated that the city is of the local government units (LGUs) that do not comply with sections 198(a), 212, and 219 of the Local Government Code of 1991, requiring provinces and cities to use a fair, current and updated SMV.

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On November 26, 2013, the City Council approved Tax Ordinance Number 63 – Series of 2013 (Ordinance Approving the Schedule of Fair Market Values and Assessment Levels of Real Estate Properties Located in the City Angeles).

City Assessor Leah Dizon, in a press statement, said the DOF, Tax Watch Philippines and BLGF should have updated their databases, including the agency's website, before publishing the report on national newspapers.

"Angeles should not have been included in the ad posted by the Department of Finance, as it is already compliant with the law. In fact, we are already implementing the revised tax law this year after its passage last year," Dizon said,

The assessor also noted that the DOF itself, together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), directed the City Government to adjust its property taxes.

Dizon has sent a letter to the DOF refuting the inclusion of Angeles City in the list of non-compliant LGUs.

She stated that representatives from the DOF were also present in the public hearings held by the city council during the revision and updating of the local tax ordinance.

Before the 2013 revision, the city's Schedule of Market Values (SMV) on RPT was last updated in 1995, almost five years after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

Despite protests from the business sector, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan explained the need to update the city’s SMV.

“We have to accept that with all the developments the city has today, it is quite unfair to value the city's assets the same way on how we value it when we were deserted by lahar during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption," said Pamintuan.

Upon assumption into office in 2010, Pamintuan started working on the general revision of property assessments and classification, after consultations made by the City Assessor and the BLGF.

The revisions were then submitted to the SP as a proposed ordinance, which underwent several committee and public hearings prior to its approval.

The said ordinance was implemented at the start of 2014, according to Pamintuan.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 12, 2014.

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