Davao council approves new property taxes
DAVAO CITY—The 18th City Council here approved for third reading the amendments of the Real Property Tax Code here, almost 12 years after it was last amended.
The amendments include the 4-percent increase for residential taxes, 9.5 percent in agriculture, 11 percent for commercial, and 25 percent for mineral, industrial and timberland industries.
The approved amendments of the City Council were lower than the proposed increase of the City Assessor’s Office, which intended to increase the residential rates by 5 percent, 10 percent for agricultural, and 12 percent for commercial.
Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, chairman of the Committee on Finance, Ways and Means, said the council considered the status of the Dabawenyo tax payers in approving the RPT increase.
“The basic principle here is affordability. We considered the situation of the Dabawenyos if we will impose a big increase in their real property tax,” he said.
Dayanghirang said the RPT increase will be split into three tranches. On the first payment, taxpayers will pay one-third of the increase, two-thirds on the second payment, and a full rate on the third payment will be imposed.
“We split it into three so the Dabawenyos can adjust to the increase,” he said.
If the amendments will be fully implemented, the city is expected to gain P326 million in real property taxes, the councilor said.
RPT amendments were supposed to be done every five years; however, the city made its last amendment to the rates in 2005.
New investors in the city were also subject to two years’ exemption of the RPT as part of the city’s way to attract investors here.
The RPT amendments were still subject for approval by the Department of Finance.
“We are very confident that the Department of Finance will approve our RPT increase proposal without amendments,” Dayanghirang said.
The amended RPT is expected to be implemented in 2019 after the approval of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
With the amended RPT, the city’s annual budget is expected to balloon to almost P8 billion, if the new Local Revenue Code will also push through.