THE Baguio City Council has asked Mayor Benjamin Magalong to suspend the increase of real property fair market value in the city, citing a potential spike in property taxes.
“It is untimely considering the financial condition of many residents and businesses who suffered losses because of the COVID (coronavirus disease 2019),” Councilor Joel Alangsab, one of the resolution’s authors, said.
According to Alangsab, an increase in real estate fair market value for taxes would likely be passed on to tenants in the form of higher rental rates.
Meanwhile, according to the City Assessor’s Office, 62,938 taxable properties currently exist in the city.
5,767 of the properties have not increased in tax values since 1995.
Ordinance 16, approved in 2020, provides for a 70-percent increase in the fair market value of real properties in the first year of implementation and the remaining 30 percent to take effect a year after.
Under the increased tax evaluations, a property that would normally pay P350 per year will pay some P1,500 instead, with similar increases to be levied on most properties.
Hotels that used to pay P65,000 annually will have to pay P259,000 annually instead, and the biggest membership resort in Baguio will have to pay P11 million annually instead of P4 million.
The ordinance provides that the assessment level for residential and agricultural land is fixed at two percent, while the assessment level of commercial, industrial, mineral, and special classes of lands is at seven percent.
Almaya Addawe, city assessor, said that the planned valuation and tax increase would provide the city better funding for its projects, with the last such increase being more than two decades ago in 1995.