City Hall eyes higher property, biz taxes

The Iloilo City government is eyeing higher property and business taxes to fill in the P300-million cut from its 2023 National Tax Allotment (NTA) share and to finance functions and services devolved from the national government such as health and social services. (Arnold Almacen photo)

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Iloilo City Government will be collecting higher real property tax (RPT) and business tax rates to keep up with more expenses for the following years.

“We are forced to make some increases, but we will make sure that the increases will be staggered para nga hindi man sakit sa tanan. We all know that everyone is affected by the pandemic,” Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said in his press conference.

Treñas said the city government needs to increase its RPT and business tax collections because of the P300-million cut from the city’s 2023 National Tax Allotment (NTA) share, formerly known as Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), despite the Mandanas ruling of the Supreme Court.

“We will have to adjust, kung hindi man full, amat-amat naton nga pag-adjust para nga hindi maapektuhan ang tanan, but at the same time, malagas man sang syudad ang tanan ta nga galastuhon sa idalom sang Mandanas kay ti gina-hatag na subong sa aton ang responsibilidad sa health, agriculture, infrastructure,” Trenas added.

The Mandanas ruling gave all local government units (LGUs) a just share from all national taxes collected, and not only limited to Bureau of Internal Revenue collections.

Treñas, however, said that some functions of national government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) would be devolved to LGUs under the Mandanas ruiling, which would also result in more expenses for Iloilo City.

He added that the city government will be needing around P134 million for medicines and vaccines alone.

“Ang DOH ihatag na sa aton ang responsibilidad para magbakal sang mga bakuna kag bulong, ang mga usual ta nga ginahatag. So aside sa naibanan pa aton nga IRA, may-ara pa ta dugang nga galastuhon,” Treñas said.

Aside from these expenses, the city government will be implementing the Salary Standardization Law (SSL)-5 for its employees starting July 2023.

Treñas added that they will also increase the fees at the slaughterhouse in Barangay Tacas, Jaro district.

“Kinanglan naton i-adjust ang aton fees because may report nga may mga munisipyo nga lapit sa aton, they are already charging more than we are doing, so i-adjust ta lang nga magparehas sa iban diri nga ari malang sa Region 6 para maka-catch-up kita kay madugay-dugay naman nga waay kita kapasaka,” he said.

The mayor, however, clarified that the city government will not yet increase the rental fees in public markets.

“Indi, we will just start increasing after nga makagulo-ginhawa na ang mga vendors para hindi man sila matam-an. Indi ta sila pagpasakaan kay maapektuhan sila subong,” Trenas said.

The last time the city government increased the market rental rates was in 2019.

Treñas will also meet with the city finance committee composed of the city treasurer, city accountant, and city assessor, including the City Planning and Development Office to discuss all the matters.