THE Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association (Creba) and the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association SHDA) in Negros Occidental asked the Bacolod City Council to stop the implementation of City Ordinance No. 08-14-700.

The ordinance, which updates the schedule of market value of real properties and other provisions relative to real property tax administration, was declared null and void by the Department of Justice (DOJ) twice.

In a joint letter dated June 23, Kenneth Tirthdas, president of SHDA, and Eduardo Suatengco, president of Creba, stated that they respectfully seek the utmost understanding and assistance of the City Council “to alleviate the plight of the property owners of the city from the pang of paying excessive property taxes imposed.”

They added that the assistance they are seeking from the City Council maybe in the form of a resolution or an ordinance that may cease and desist the city from collecting property taxes under the new tax rates.

The letter was addressed to Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya, and was received by his office on June 24.

Gasataya said the letter informed the City Council about the April 7 resolution of DOJ declaring once again the new tax code of the city null and void, and asking the action of the SP in a form of legislation to stop implementing it.

He said the letter will be included in the agenda of the next session on July 1.

“Then we will see what would be the stand of the members of the City Council,” the vice mayor said. “It is a very critical move for the City Council, and in fact, this matter is primarily still with the executive.”

The DOJ upheld its decision declaring City Ordinance 08-14-700 null and void after the city government filed a motion for reconsideration.

A resolution dated April 7 signed by DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima stated that, “we find no congent reason to disturb our resolution dated Feb. 8 which declared City Ordinance No. 08-14-70… null and void for failure to comply with the prescribed procedure under the Local Government Code(LGC) in enactment of tax ordinances.”

City Legal Office head Rayfrando Diaz said the April 7 resolution of the DOJ is now “moot and academic” considering that the city has a pending petition for ad cautelam against Proxima Centauri Realty and Development Corp. and Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp.