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Big relief for Quezon City taxpayers

"People are struggling to make ends meet."

 

Quezon City residents can heave a sigh of relief in terms of real property tax payment if the proposal by a city councilor is approved.

District 2 Councilor Winnie Castelo asked the City Council to permanently scrap a 2016 ordinance that dramatically increases the fair market values of real properties in the city. This has the effect of imposing excessive real estate taxes on residents.

Castelo said that under the proposed Ordinance No. 468, tax payment relief is necessary to help Quezon City residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused untold suffering and misery on health and personal finances.

This is indeed a timely relief for the people who are already struggling to make ends meet.  Individuals and families are affected by the health crisis, while businesses are struggling to survive day-to-day operations and keep their workers on the payroll.

The permanent scrapping of the revised valuations of real property taxes would help tens of thousands of small property owners in Quezon City as they tide over the health crisis.

Two councilors co-authored the proposed ordinance—Karl Edgar Castelo of District 5 and Melencio Castelo Jr. of District 6.

The proposed ordinance aims to revoke Ordinance No. SP-2556, series of 2016, and the subsequent ordinances and resolutions related thereto, including the implementing rules and regulations adopted for those measures. The 2016 ordinance sought to increase taxes on lands, buildings, constructions and other improvements based on new valuations.

City residents found the adjustments too steep, which ranged from more than 500 percent to 1,000 percent.

The Alliance of Quezon City Homeowners Associations Inc. questioned the validity and constitutionality of the ordinance before the Supreme Court in 2017.

The high court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the implementation of the 2016 ordinance, thus the collection of real estate taxes based on the revised schedule of values provided for under the said ordinance was suspended.

The Supreme Court on  September 18, 2018 dismissed the petition and lifted the TRO. Two months later, the City Council enacted Ordinance No. SP-2778, series of 2018, suspending the implementation of the ordinance for the years 2018 and 2019.

On December 16, 2019, the City Council approved Ordinance No. SP-2888, series of 2019 extending the suspension of the collection of taxes based on the revised schedule of values on land until December 2020 while allowing the higher adjustments on buildings and other structures to take effect for the taxable year 2020.  

A year after, the Council approved Ordinance No. SP-2986, series of 2020 further extending the suspension of the collection of higher taxes until December 31, 2022.

The three authors of the proposed Ordinance No. 468 said the implementation of Ordinance No. SP-2556 is against the will of the people.  Instead, such ordinance should be revoked permanently and in its entirety, so as not to inflict additional burden to the Quezon City residents who are all grappling with the effects of the pandemic.

“We might as well cast away the original sin, which is ordinance No. 2556, series of 2016,” they said.
 

Dindo Danao is a public relations strategist.

Topics: Editorial , Quezon City , real property tax payment , Councilor Winnie Castelo
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