City Hall eyes P400 million from higher land taxes

Prices of properties in Diversion Road in Mandurriao, Iloilo City are expected to rise if the city hall pushes in increasing taxes on land by next year. (Francis Allan Angelo photo)

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Iloilo City Government is preparing for the implementation of higher Real Property Tax (RPT) in the city as they look forward to amending the schedule of market values (SMV) for land next year.

City Assessor Cesar Jalbuena Jr. said that the city is expecting to generate around P400 million should the proposed amendment to the SMV for land be pushed through in 2024.

The Department of Finance stated that SMV is an approved schedule of unit base market values for different classes of real property tax in the local government unit (LGUs), which serves as the basis for the appraisal and assessment of real properties for real property taxation purposes.

Jalbuena explained that the current valuation record used for the RPT is already outdated, noting that the Local Government Code of 1991 mandates the general revision of the SMV once every three years but the last amendment in the city was made 17 years ago.

“Our existing valuation record based on our record was 2006, so that is why it is outdated or no longer realistic,” he said.

“With the increase in value, we will have an additional collection that will go to services,” Jalbuena added.

Jalbuena clarified that while the real property also includes buildings and improvements, the revision of the SMV would only cover the market values for land as requested by Mayor Jerry P. Treñas.

The city government already conducted consultative meetings last year, while a public consultation together with the business community and other stakeholders was held on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.

Treñas previously said that the city government needed to increase its RPT and business tax rates as around P300 million was 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.

The city mayor stressed that some functions of the national government agencies like 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 ruling, which will also result to bigger expenses for Iloilo City.

“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,” Treñas previously explained.

Jalbuena, on the other hand, said that the proposal for the amendment was already endorsed to the City Council and they are expected to hold a series of public hearings before the passage of an ordinance amending the SMV.