THE Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) supports the Cebu City Government’s plan to raise taxes to fund its projects but wishes for a staggered schedule of increases to keep businesses afloat.

In a statement sent to SunStar Cebu Wednesday, August 10, 2022, CCCI president Charles Kenneth Co said they understand the need for the City to raise funds after spending considerable resources to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and Typhoon Odette (Rai).

The Cebu City Government recently disclosed that Mayor Michael Rama started his term on July 1 with no available funds for new projects.

The city’s local finance committee said the City has been spending more money than its income for the past two years.

According to Co, the business sector in Cebu City can accommodate a staggered increase of tax rates instead of a “one-time big increase.”

Co added that this will also allow businesses to shoulder the additional tax burden while contributing to the city’s coffers.

“The last thing we want is for the increase in tax to have the opposite effect of dampening business thus causing an overall drop in collection instead of seeing an increase,” said Co.

Co also mentioned that they want to see a strategic and equitable increase in the city’s zonal value which will allow commercial development in growth centers.

During a press briefing on Monday, August 8, City Treasurer Mare Vae Reyes said the city’s revenue tax code has not been updated since 2003 and it was also during that time that the city’s real property tax was approved.

Reyes also mentioned that the city’s tax rates are even lower than what is provided in the Local Government Code of 1991.

The city treasurer gave assurance that Rama will not impose the increase without consulting the general public, especially those who will be affected.