No tax hike in Makati this year: Binay

MANILA -- Makati Mayor Abby Binay on Tuesday assured residents that there will be no increase in taxes collected by the city government this year.

This after the Commission on Audit (COA) has recommended the updating of the city's schedule of fair market value (SFMV), which according to its 2016 annual audit report, had not been updated since 1997.

Atty. Michael CamiAa, City Legal Officer and Binay's spokesperson, said the city government is dealing with the COA recommendation to adjust the fair market value of properties in a judicious manner.

Such an important decision requires in-depth study and thorough consultation with all the concerned stakeholders, CamiAa said in a statement.

Any adjustments in the FMV will affect tax rates and Mayor Abby would like to ensure that such adjustments, if and when implemented, will not prejudice the private sector and residents, he stressed.

He added that Makati under the administration of Mayor Binay has seen its highest revenue collection in years without increasing taxes.

CamiAa said during Binay's first six months in office, the city's revenue collection rose to over PHP600 million more than the amount collected from July to December 2015 under the administration of then acting mayor Romulo Kid PeAa Jr.

Based on the latest report of the City Treasurer's Office, the total revenue collection of the city government as of July 31 has reached PHP12.65 billion, which is 87 percent of total revenue target for 2017. It is also higher by 9 percent than the collection during the same period last year under the previous administration.

We are focused on ensuring that proper incentives are in place for investors, as part of our push to be the first digital city, CamiAa said.

The latest financial report issued by OIC-City Treasurer Jesusa Cuneta shows the bulk of the PHP12.65-billion collection came from Business Tax with PHP6.6 billion (8 percent increase), followed by Real Property Tax with PHP4.43 billion (9 percent increase).

Other local revenue sources for the said period included Fees and Charges (P546.2 million), Economic Enterprises (PHP123.4 million). In all, collections from local revenue sources amounted to PHP11.73 billion.

Revenue collected from other sources included Interest Income (PHP135.4 million), IRA (PHP620.7 million), PEZA (P160.4 million), and PAGCOR/PCSO (PHP3 million).

Makati is among a few local government units in the country that are not dependent on internal revenue alloment (IRA) from the national government.

A few months after Binay began her term as chief executive of the country's financial center, several reforms and innovations were made in the systems and operations of the city government to make its services more efficient, accessible and convenient to residents and taxpayers.

These include the convergence of all frontline offices involved in tax payment and renewal of business permits at the ground floor of Makati City Hall Building II, which relieved taxpayers of the burden of going from one building or floor to another and the elimination of fixers.

Source: Philippine News Agency