QC gov’t denies real property tax hike claims

Published October 17, 2021, 5:56 PM

by Allysa Nievera

The Quezon City government debunked the claims made by Anakalusugan Party Representative Michael Defensor that there is a tax hike on real estate properties in the city.

“He is lying, the ordinance mentioned by the lawmaker has nothing to do with increasing the land tax rate, but refers to increasing assessed value of properties in Quezon City,” City Lawyer Orlando Casimiro said in a statement on Sunday.

Defensor, who is also running for mayor in QC, claimed earlier this week that if elected mayor he would stop the increase in land taxes imposed by the city government.

He also recalled the Ordinance No. 2556, which was imposed by the QC government in 2016, sought to make taxes go higher on lands, buildings, constructions and other improvements.

In 2017, the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) stopping the implementation of the city ordinance. The following year, the TRO was lifted which then allowed the QC government to start collecting higher taxes on real estate properties.

READ MORE: Defensor pledges no land tax hike if elected QC mayor

However, former Mayor Herbert Bautista issued Ordinance No. SP-2778, S-2018, suspending the collection of real property taxes for 2018 and 2019.

Mayor Joy Belmonte issued a similar ordinance, SP-8888, S-2019 for the year 2020.

Casimiro clarified that Ordinance No. 2556 correctly adjust land values and not an increase in land tax.

“The Ordinance won’t lead to an increase in land tax as it only correctly adjusts land values so land owners may realize higher returns on their lands,” Casimiro said.

“The taxes are not to be increased,” he added.

Majority Leader Franz Pumaren and Councilor Jun Ferrer, who authored the ordinance on the suspension of the increase in land valuation, said the alleged tax hike is nothing but fake news.

“The alleged tax hike is nothing but fake news. It will remain suspended until Mayor Belmonte is holding office. The truth is, no decent politician will take advantage of the pandemic and the suffering public to sow fear and confusion,” the two leaders said.

Earlier, City Treasurer Ed Villanueva said the city government continues to “hit and even surpass its own tax collection target” even without additional revenue sources.

The Quezon City government collected P22 billion in taxes from local sources in 2020, surpassing its 2019 collection of P19.33 billion.

The number did not include other revenue coming from the national government such as internal revenue allotment (IRA).

The tax income came from real property tax, business tax, and other taxes such as amusement, transfer, contractors, and non-revenues like slaughterhouses.