BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
An ordinance granting relief to delinquent real property taxpayers in the City of Bacolod, through the condonation of penalties, interest and surcharges being imposed and providing mechanisms for its proper implementation, was passed by the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod on final reading recently.
The ordinance cited the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and that the city expects some degree of shortfall in its tax collection, which may be compensated by encouraging taxpayers to pay their real property taxes (RPT) without the additional burden of penalties and surcharges.
Republic Act 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, mandates, among others, local government units to craft measures to mitigate the contagion of Covid-19, mobilize assistance to persons affected by the disease, and undertake programs for recovery and rehabilitation through the provision of social amelioration and safety nets to all affected sectors, the ordinance said.
The city can ease the burden of its constituents and taxpayers via tax relief on delinquent real property taxes through the condonation of penalties, interest and surcharges, the ordinance, authored by Councilor Dindo Ramos, said.
The ordinance, to be known as “The Tax Relief on Delinquent Real Property Taxpayers in the City of Bacolod”, will cover residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial and other classes of real properties, including improvement and machineries, unless otherwise exempted by existing laws.
The ordinance will also apply to properties which are under-declared and subject to back taxes, those previously declared but the real property had not been paid and remained delinquent, properties under warrant of levy, and those included in public auctions but have not been purchased by private person or entities.
It said the collection of penalties, interest and surcharges on delinquent real property taxes are condoned, cancelled and/or waived by the city subject to various terms and conditions.
Delinquent taxpayers who will pay in full from Sept. 30 to Dec. 31 will enjoy a 100 percent condonation on all penalties, interest, surcharges on delinquent real property taxes.
Those who will pay in full from Jan. 1, 2021 will enjoy a 50 percent condonation on penalties, interest and surcharges.
If the unpaid taxes accumulate to a considerable amount, the City Treasurer is authorized to allow the liquidation of the total unpaid taxes on installments, provided that 50 percent of the total amount will be remitted on the date the compromise agreement is signed by the delinquent taxpayer and the City Treasurer.
The balance of total unpaid taxes, between P200,000 to P500,000, will be payable in installments for two quarters, while those over P500,000 will be payable in four quarters, it said.
The ordinance said that non-payment on the day indicated in the compromise agreement will automatically make the taxpayer in default.
The total balance of the delinquent real property tax, as well as the entire amount of interest, will become automatically due and demandable and will be subject to collection, levy and public auction in accordance with the procedure set forth in RA 71690, the ordinance added.*