Imposition of higher city realty tax, alarms landowners

Sorsogon City Government Building. Photo courtesy:
Sorsogon City Government Building. Photo courtesy:

SORSOGON CITY (22 Jan. 2012) – Landowners here in the city of Sorsogon are alarmed by the higher imposition of realty taxes that were implemented starting the first day of this year, 2012.
According to most of these landowners, the imposition of higher taxes was enacted by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan in the Provincial Ordinance No 01-2011 last July 18, 2011 and once implemented this year, would mean a very high mark up in their payments.

Landowners are reacting and would like to request for a dialogue with the local officials since abaca, coconut, and other agricultural products do not provide high profit since there is little value added to these products; also, there is the issue of high cost of farm inputs.

A total of 54 landowners who attended the committee hearing said that the increase seems to be high.

On top of this, homeowners have to pay the realty tax of their houses, which they consider as non-profit assets thereby making the payment of taxes for agricultural land and for their residences as exhorbitant.

The increase in the realty taxes range from 38 percent and above as compared to that of the previous rate of previous years.

Sorsogon City councilor Nestor J. Baldon, author of the said ordinance, said that under the local government code of 1991, the city of Sorsogon is mandated to enact an ordinance providing for the fair market value of all real properties based now on its assessed fair market value.

He also explained that since the city was established in 2000, it has implemented a tax moratorium, meaning that no increase in realty tax was implemented for the past 11 years.

He said that with the current market value of real property here in the city, there is also a need to upgrade the tax increase implementation to enhance the eroding tax base for realty taxes.

Baldon explained that the preparation of the tax revenue code is guided by the rules and regulations issued by the Department of Finance and that under the local government code, local government units has to undertake a general revision of property assessment once every three years.

The city of Sorsogon is almost on its eleventh year and based on the Local Government Code it should have undergone a three time increase in taxes.

The five-year grace period of tax moratorium has been made and according to councilor Baldon, the increase in realty taxes this year will also become an economic mechanism for development since the lifeblood of any local government is the generation of taxes. (PIA Sorsogon)


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