Cebu News

Proposed revised RPT hits snag anew

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council wants that a deferred ordinance on the revised real property tax should be revisited following the enactment of the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act (RPVARA).

In a privileged speech, Councilor Rey Gealon said the new law has overtaken the provisions of the proposed revised real property tax ordinance of the city. He urged the proponent, Councilor Noel Wenceslao, to revisit his proposed measure.

“I call upon the deferment of the discussions and public hearings and further call upon the proponent, my dear colleague Councilor Noel Wenceslao, to revisit his proposed ordinance in light of the enactment of Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act, R.A. 12001, with the aspiration to provide a “just, equitable and efficient” real property valuation system for the benefit of the Cebuanos,” said Gealon.

According to Gealon, ever since the proposed ordinance was brought to the picture, the council conducted numerous studies, deliberations, and discussions. Specifying timelines, Gealon said that it was last December 30, 2022, when the council approved the first version of said proposed ordinance but was vetoed by Mayor Michael Rama on the ground that it allegedly did not express the true values of the properties and deprived the City Government a proper source of funds.

Last March, Rama reiterated his call for the City Council to pass the revised real property tax ordinance, this time aligned to the most recent and updated Fair Market Value (FMV) of the real properties in the city.

The most recent deliberation was done on April 3, 2024, and is supposed to stand as the second reading.

"It has been the quiet sentiment of most of my colleagues in this august body that this proposed ordinance revising real property tax valuation should be deferred up until after the 2025 elections," said Gealon.

"Soundless it may seem but our deafening voices and actions are clearly heard and understood by the public," he added.

However, on June 13, 2024, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. signed into law the RPVARA, which aims to standardize, streamline, and enhance the country’s valuation and assessment of real property through a uniform appraisal that is compliant with international standards. The law, according to Gealon, is now called Republic Act No.12001.

It further explains that R.A. 12001 "adopts and standardizes" a system of valuation for real properties by utilizing the prevailing market value as the single real property valuation base for the assessment of real property tax that is aligned with international standards.

"Under this Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act, real property tax increases are capped at 6 percent in the first year, and a real property tax amnesty is also granted for penalties, surcharges, and interests on unpaid taxes, available within two years of the law’s effectivity," Gealon cited.

He further cited that the key aspect of the new law is the separation of the technical valuation process from the political local taxation process, a similar provision in the proposed ordinance of Wenceslao.

It has been also stated the new law will have to adopt the Philippine Valuation Standards based on International Valuation Standards to ensure consistency. Gealon asked that the city legal office render a legal opinion on the salient provisions of the R.A. 12001 and submit it within 15 days.  – FPL (CEBU NEWS)

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