BAGUIO City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias has written Baguio Country Club (BCC) general manager Anthony De Leon to pay corresponding amusement taxes for the Christmas Village set up at South Drive.
Cabarrubias in a letter dated December 28 said: “Please be informed that the said activity is subject to amusement tax pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9640 and Ordinance No. 2000-001, otherwise known as the Revenue Code of the Baguio City, at the rate of 10% of the said admission fees.”
The city treasurer has requested De Leon for a declaration of receipts and payment of corresponding amusement taxes.
“We have noted that there are stalls / booths set up in the said “Village”. May we also respectfully request a list of the said owners to ascertain whether they have the necessary business permits,” the letter adds.
Mayor Maurico Domogan in a statement said the city treasurer is just doing his job as mandated by law.
De Leon, in a response letter dated December 29, pointed out that the main activity of the Christmas Village is to showcase the Christmas decorative arts made of recyclable waste materials which were conceptualized and made by BCC employees.
The letter added these Christmas decorative arts were arranged and exhibited in a mock up village for better appreciation and presentation instead of display.
“We added snow machine, nativity pageant and choir as supplementary activities to characterize a Christmas ambiance for which the Club spend nightly, and that is where the proceeds for admission tickets are being used. Note that we do not charge Club members and Person with Disability [PWD],” De Leon’s response added.
De Leon also said with the nature of the activities in the Christmas Village, the BCC is exempt in paying amusement tax, citing RA No. 9640 under Section 1. SEC. 140 of Republic Act No. 7160 “The holding of operas, concerts, dramas, recitals, paintings and art exhibitions, flower shows, musical programs, literary and oratorical presentations, except pop, rock or similar concerts shall be exempt from the payment of the tax herein imposed.”
The city legal department is now looking into the matter to determine if indeed BCC is exempt from paying amusement taxes or should be billed by the city.
Cabarrubias said the Camp John Hay Manor was likewise called out verbally by the city and they have likewise manifested verbally that they will submit to the city their declarations.