Can City Hall meet its P5-B tax target today?
Mayor expects ‘downpour of payments’ on deadline day
Cebu City Hall has until the end of business hours today to meet the P5 billion tax collection target imposed by Mayor Michael Rama for this month.
As of Jan. 20, or three days before the end of the business permit renewal and registration period, the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) has collected P531.5 million.
This includes P433.5 million in real property tax collections .
About P98 million came from business fees and other charges (P94.6 million) and cedula or community tax certificate fees (P3.3 million).
The CTO is under pressure to collect more to help fund the city government’s P13.4-billion budget.
Rama earlier this month challenged the CTO to meet the P5-billion target which covers collections from Jan. 3 to 23.
Rama, however, is not worried if the actual collection is still way below target.
“First, we thank those who paid. But (today) we will be expecting an influx, downpour and deluge of taxpayers who prefer to be deadliners,” Rama told reporters yesterday.
The CTO opened a one-stop tax payment center at SM City Cebu last Jan. 3.
Those who intend to pay beyond the deadline will be levied a 2 percent monthly interest and 25 percent surcharge, City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said.
She said the SM City Cebu one-stop center will be up and running until Jan. 30.
Aside from aggressive tax collection, the city government is also looking to sell lots of the South Road Properties (SRP) as another revenue source.
Rama said he will spend time on tax mapping and initially conduct a review of real property taxes in the city and will treat revenue raising as if the city “is in a crisis situation.”
Rama earlier ordered the City Legal Office to go after tax evaders.
The mayor said the city’s attention has already been called by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) which said the city’s schedule of market values (SMV) is outdated by 11 years.
But Rama said new rates won’t be implemented at least until next year or in succeeding years.
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