2-year amnesty on unpaid RPT contained in reform bill awaits Marcos signature

2-year amnesty on unpaid RPT contained in reform bill awaits Marcos signature
AP File

HOMEOWNERS and businesses with unpaid real property taxes may soon receive a reprieve.

This, as the proposed Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform (RPVAR) Act, currently awaiting President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s signature, proposes a two-year amnesty program.

If signed into law, the RPVAR applies to all unpaid real property taxes, including Special Education Fund, idle land tax, and other special levies, accumulated before the law takes effect.

Versions of the bill from the Senate and House of Representatives have been reconciled.

A bicameral conference committee report that the two chambers of Congress recently ratified has been sent to Malacañang, according to Bukidnon Second District Representative Jonathan Keith Flores, author of the House version of the proposed law.

Flores, principal sponsor of the bill and chairman of the House committee on government reorganization, said the measure “is especially crucial to households and businesses, local government units, the Bureau of Local Government Finance, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.”

“Households and businesses have long been waiting for the valuations of their properties to be updated because the current values are many decades old,” Flores said in a statement on Monday, April 15, 2024.

“The low land values have kept them from deriving better gains from thei real property assets to secure their financial future. Their capital gains from real property valuation reforms will far exceed, I believe, the real property taxes due to the LGUs and the national government,” he added.

Flores said the availability of the amnesty is limited to within two years after the law’s effectivity.

The tax relief “may be availed by a delinquent property owner with the option of one-time payment or installment payment of the delinquent real property taxes within the same two years,” read a portion of Section 30 of the tax measure.

Who is not eligible?

According to the proposed law, individuals cannot avail themselves of the tax amnesty if their properties were already sold at auction due to unpaid taxes; properties with ongoing payment arrangements through a compromise agreement; and properties involved in pending court cases related to tax delinquencies.

The proposed law states that real property taxes assessed before the law's effectivity can only increase by a maximum of six percent.

Flores is positive that the reforms “will unleash the economic values of real property all over the country, which have long been depressed by decades-old valuations. This will result in prosperity for families, businesses, LGUs, and the country.”

“It will take a few years for the new law to take full effect. Here is where some of the complexities come in. Congress did its best to anticipate all the situations arising from the approved reforms. We set parameters for all the concerned agencies to follow,” he said. (KAL)


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