By Chito Chavez
Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte assured the city’s businessmen she will not raise taxes if she is elected mayor.
Instead, Belmonte said she will streamline the tax collection system to make it more efficient.
She insisted the city’s coffers can be enriched through efficient tax collection and not by increasing taxes.
“I assure you that there will be no tax increase in my time. Not in my term,” she said.
Belmonte also denied reports that the real property tax (RPT) will be raised by 500 percent due to the suspended fair market value ordinance.
She clarified that only the market value of properties of Quezon City owners will increase and that this would be beneficial for owners who plan to sell their assets in the future.
“Actually, the local government code mandates the increase in fair market value every three years. But it’s been 21 years when we last had the market value increase and the Department of Interior and Local Government has sent us a memo already. That’s why we have to do this,’’ Belmonte said.
Quezon City remains the only city in Metro Manila with properties that have low fair market value, she said.
“In the end, it will be the owners’ gain if they decided to sell their properties. I think we just need to explain it to them properly,” the vice mayor said.
She promised to “conduct further public consultations to know the concerns of all stakeholders affected by the fair market value increase so that they can think of measures to improve the said ordinance’’.