Tuesday July 17, 2018

Escalante: Taxpayers back proposed RPT hike

A PROVINCIAL Government official said that majority of the taxpayers in Negros Occidental have expressed support to the proposed increase of real property tax (RPT) next year.

Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., chairman of the Provincial Board committee on budget, finance and appropriation, who led the public hearing Wednesday, October 4, at the session hall, said most of the Negrenses were supportive although there were some who have expressed apprehension.

Escalante said the Provincial Board will answer the queries of a private corporation that questioned the proposed increase on the assessed value of properties.

“We will look into that,” Escalante said, adding that the assessors based the assessment on the update on the law.

“The assessors are following the jurisprudence,” he said. “But in general, there was no problem.”

Escalante said the public hearing was well-attended, which means many are interested.

He explained that the local government should update the fair market value of properties, including agricultural, urban, and industrial every three years.

The last time it was updated was in 2014, he added.

Escalante said the Provincial Government is looking at an increase of seven to eight percent.

He said there are agricultural lands within the development of the province, especially those from the airport going to the city that may have higher increase of up to 20 percent, based on the assessed value of the properties.

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said it’s good if majority of the Negrense taxpayers are supportive of the proposed increase so the Provincial Board could proceed with the approval of the ordinance.

The vice governor opined that the proposed new rate is “not big” considering the needs of the province.

“If we have high rate of collection, it can contribute to our coffers, which means more projects,” he added.