GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 August) — The city government has collected a total of P205.94 million in local taxes during the first half of the year, surpassing last year’s records by 15 percent.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said such figure is around P30 million more than the city’s total collections from business, real property and other taxes from January to June last year that only reached P175.094 million.
He said it also represents 82 percent of the city government’s local tax collection target for this year of around P251 million.
The mayor said business taxes made up the bulk of their collections during the first six months of the year that reached P125.59 million or P29.41 million higher than its target of P155 million for the entire year.
He said the city’s collection efficiency for general income account derived from permits and licenses is presently at 77 percent, with collections reaching P20.3 million as against its target of P25.3 million.
“The fiscal health of our city has never been very healthy as it is today,” he said in his first state-of-the-city address on Tuesday.
Rivera said a big chunk of the city’s Internal Revenue Allotment share, which stands at around P958 million for this year, mainly comes from the area’s flagship tuna industry.
Dubbed the country’s “tuna capital,” the city currently hosts six of the countries tuna canneries and various complementary industries.
But in the last 10 years, after the “phenomenal rise” of the city’s tuna industry, he said new investment opportunities were opened up in the area.
“Since I took office, increased business activities in the city have been noticeable,” said Rivera, who won his first term as city mayor in the May 2013 midterm elections.
He said the local government specifically recorded around P871 million worth of new investments in the area during the first half of the year.
Such figure, which was derived from new business registrations from January to June this year, was P300 million higher when compared to last year’s investment records during the period of P535.5 million, he said.
Rivera said the gross sales receipts of business renewals in the city also reached P42.57 billion for essentials and P28.93 billion for non-essentials.
Both figures are improvements of the gross sales receipts of P41.60 billion and P25.8 billion for essentials and non-essentials, respectively, during the first half of 2013.
“Simply put, business has never been this good in General Santos City,” he added. (MindaNews)