Bid to hike property tax in Cebu province pushed

By: Morexette B. Erram January 15,2018 - 10:55 PM

GUIAL

“It’s about time.”

Cebu Gov. Hila-rio Davide III said this after the Cebu Provincial Treasurer’s Office announced its plan to increase by 10 percent real property tax in the province.

“It has been a long time since we proposed that. But we’re still looking into it. It’s one of the sources of income for the province and for the municipalities,” said Davide during a press briefing at the Capitol.

Provincial Treasurer Emmanuel Guial said on Monday that their office is drafting the proposal to increase real property tax up to 10 percent.

If approved by the Provincial Board (PB), the proposal would serve as an instrument to boost the income of the Capitol, Guial said.

“The last time we increased our real property tax was in 2008 through Provincial Ordinance No. 2008 – 10. It has to go through an ordinance subject for approval by the PB,” he said.

“If we increase our real property tax, we can expect more income for the province. Once approved, collection will be bigger,” said Guial.

But citing the Local Government Unit Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160), the provincial treasurer said they are only limited to increase real property tax by 10 percent.

“And under the local government code, we can impose increases on real property tax every five years. 2008 was almost ten years ago,” Guial explained.

Guial added that they are targeting to finish drafting the proposal to send it to Davide for review and recommendation this month, before it can be forwarded to the Committee on Ways and Means of the PB.

But the governor, on the other hand, assured they will look into it thoroughly considering that several basic commodities and fuel products have increased due to the passage of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

“We’ll find out if it’s appropriate at this time,” stated Davide.

Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who sits as the presiding chairperson of the PB, also shared the same sentiments with Davide.

“If it will be forwarded to the legislation, I think we will be looking into its timing,” Magpale said.

However, Guial clarified that the proposal to increase real property tax in the province is not due to the Train Law.

“It’s just that we haven’t increased our real property tax for a long time,” Guial said.

He added that in 2012, the provincial treasurer’s office would have implemented the increase in real property tax but failed to do so because they had not prepared any draft proposal for it.

The Cebu Provincial Government posted a P3.54 billion as its income for the year 2017, which is higher compared to 2016’s P3.09 billion.

Out of the P3.54 billion worth of income, the Capitol collected P74.5 million through the real property tax.

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