Councilor acknowledges business sector’s concerns, pushes for staggered tax increase

Cebu City Hall
Cebu City Hall File photo

THE proponent of the revised Real Property Tax (RPT) Code in Cebu City understood the plight of the business community, as he echoed its call for staggered implementation of the tax increase.

During Cebu City Hall’s online program “Pagtuki, Pagsusi, Pagsuta” on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, Councilor Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao, chairman of the budget and finance committee, said he has the final draft of the RPT ordinance, but he has not discussed it yet with the council.

Wenceslao said he understands the plight of the business owners, saying the City Government really needs to stagger the implementation of the revised Fair Market Value (FMV) because it would be a burden for the real property owners.

In November 2023, the City Government had a public hearing, which was hosted by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce Industry.

During the event, they heard the call of various business owners who will be affected by the revision of the RPT Code, which involves the increase of the fair market values of properties.

Wenceslao said the business owners requested to stagger the implementation of the FMV because it is too high due to the impact on the land valuation.

Wenceslao said that in the ordinance, he agreed to the request of the business owners, but as for the amount, he could not reveal it yet because it has not been discussed by the council.

“Hatagan nato og gamayng pagpahiluna, but we have to increase. There's a long for that but ato lang e staggered ang implementation,” Wenceslao said.

Wenceslao explained that if they would increase right away, there is a possibility that some property owners may not be able to afford it, especially those who are still recovering from Covid-19 and Typhoon Odette.

He added that there is also a need to protect the city’s interests because if taxes rise sharply, other component cities may become more attractive, and business owners might relocate.

“Imbis naa unta tay gamay nga makuha nila, adto na nuon sa lain. That’s why we need to protect that also,” Wenceslao said.

“Dapat naay (There should be) win-win solution,” he added.

Wenceslao said he still needs to submit his proposal to the council for final deliberations.

“Kun mouyon sila, then that will be, but if naa silay better proposal, ato sad e consider,” Wenceslao said.

He said the ordinance still needs to be discussed through a consensus among the councilors, and he hoped this will be completed and approved by March. (AML)

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