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Cebu News

Cebu City blames ‘no cash’ to old tax code

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Local Finance Committee has recommended increasing its tax collection after the city is left with no cash for new projects.

But to do this, the local tax code must first be amended.

“We all know that Cebu City is karaan na kaayo atong revenue tax code,” said City Treasurer Marevae Reyes in a press conference set by the city’s Public Information Office.

Reyes said the city, for one, is still utilizing the real property tax (RPT) back in 2003.

According to the Commission on Audit reports, the city’s revenues in the last two years were found to be significantly smaller than the city’s expenses, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are revenues derived from RPT, and with no increase made by the city government, it has affected the city’s cash flow.

“Ang RPT nato is 2003 pa and then supposed to be, it has to be increased every three years,” said Reyes.

No explanation was given as to why no increases were made except that Reyes said, “we have been very friendly sa Cebu City constituents”.

On the side of the business taxes, Reyes also said it is way lower than what is being allowed under the Local Government Code accordingly.

“Sa business taxes, our rates are even lower than that provided in the local government code,” she said.

Reyes, however, assured that any increase in taxes will be properly consulted.

“Atty. Collin (Rosell, secretary to the mayor) will agree with me that the mayor will not also impose all of these, without consulting the general public, especially those that will be affected,” Reyes added.

Right now, the City Assessor’s Office is undergoing a series of meetings concerning the matter.

“The City Assessor’s Office (is) already meeting… several meetings are already conducted with the different stakeholders. So giuna lang ang real property taxes then the business taxes will follow ..and the fees and charges will follow,” said Reyes.

Concerning the fees, the City Hall is also looking at increasing its fees for those who are asking for certification.

“For example sa fees lang, very common nga mangayo tag certification sa offices sa government… ang mga munisipyo even the barangays, mo-impose na go P100 per certification… Ang Cebu City is only P40 so I think we have to revisit that and dili lang siguro masuko ang atong mga katawhan kung mo-equal lang ta sa P100 sa uban,” said Reyes.

The city is looking into implementing increased taxes and fees by January 2023.

“Tanang departments pt sa City Hall karon are gearing towards those goals and hopefully maka-implement ta inig January of next year,” ended Reyes. — JMD (FREEMAN)

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