Aklan real property tax increase under scrutiny
BY BOY RYAN B.ZABAL
KALIBO, Aklan – A former Sangguniang Panlalawigan member is challenging the legality of the provincial ordinance on the imposition of the new schedule of assessed values on real properties leveled by the provincial government.
In the 15th regular session on Wednesday morning, lawyer Romeo Inocencio protested the real property tax increases beginning the year 2006, which he described as “virtually bereft of legal basis.”
Provincial Ordinance No. 005-009 fixes and approves the schedule of base market values of lands and natural improvements, building classification and schedule of base unit construction cost for buildings, machineries and other improvements
"The revised assessment and the collection of higher realty taxes arising from the ordinance are erroneous,” Inocencio pointed out.
The former board member stressed the provincial ordinance is invalid for its failure to publish first, 10 days after the filing of the proposed tax ordinance or revenue measure in a newspaper of local circulation or be posted simultaneously in at least four (4) conspicuous public places under Article 276 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Local Government Code of 1991 or Republic Act 7160.
“There is still a need to have the ordinance fully explained and that’s why there is another interaction on June 6 in a regular session,” Vice governor and presiding officer Ronquillo Tolentino told Panay News yesterday.
Inocencio’s call also drew negative reactions from real property owners that lamented the non-compliance of a public hearing on it.
Provincial Assessor Mary Jean Rebaldo, who was also invited in the session, said there was a public hearing held at the Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and
An approved provincial ordinance published in Madyaas Pen, a local weekly paper on February 2006, was presented before the local legislative council.
Inocencio claimed the 300 to 700 percent increase in the real property taxes violated the fundamental principles of taxation that it should not be unjust, excessive, oppressive or confiscatory as enshrined in Section 130 of the Local Government Code.
Inocencio said the ordinance fixing the new base market value of real properties in the entire province is “clearly and undoubtedly void ab initio therefore has no valid and binding effect on taxpayers.”
LIFEBLOOD OF LGU
According to SP member Plaridel Morania, tax is the lifeblood of government and the province has a major stake in the collection and tax assessment of real property taxes by the 17 municipalities, including the
Inocencio further decried the lack of a provincial ordinance fixing and prescribing the assessment levels to be applied to the new fair market value to determine the new assessed value of the real property subject to realty tax as required by Section 218 of the Local Government Code.