THANKS to the pressure exerted by the public, the Commission on Audit and the Department of Finance, the Quezon City government was forced to conduct public hearings on a draft ordinance seeking higher property taxes.
The public consultation, which began last Nov. 8, opened to the public the secretive ways the city government does to ensure the passage of draft ordinance No. P020CC-141. The draft calls for the general revision of the Fair Market Value (FMV) for the lands and buildings in Quezon City, which was last adjusted way back on December 19, 1995, or 21 years ago.
According to City Assessor Rodolfo Ordanes, the proposed ordinance would entail additional expense but it would be minimal.
“Actually, the people are open to it, they just need more explanations. We’ve been telling them it wouldn’t hurt them so much because the proposed tax rate adjustments is minimal,” Ordanes said.
Nevertheless, Ordaners failed to explain why it took pressure from the public, CoA and the DoF before the city government became transparent in its push to have the draft ordinance approved by local barangays.
Ordanes pointed out that land values in the neighboring cities such as Makati, Caloocan, and Pasay have been readjusted, leaving behind Quezon City, whose average FMV for residential and commercial properties is only P5,000 per square meter.
“We’ve been using the old rate, the 1995 rate,” the city official stressed, adding that the Local Government Code requires the adjustment of FMVs every three years.
Moreover, the COA, in an October 7 letter to Mayor Herbert Bautista, recommended that the city government adjust its FMV because it affects the real property administration system of the city.
“For years now, the general revision of real property in the City has not been undertaken such that the fair market values for purposes of assessment, classification and subsequently the collection of realty taxes has not been attuned to the changing times,” the state audit agency pointed out.