Davao City Council to propose adjustments in business, real property taxes

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Dec) – City councilors here are proposing to increase the nine-year-old business and real property taxes, but business leaders have called on the council that adjustments should be “reasonable.”

Councilor Danny Dayanghirang, chair of the committee on finance, ways and means, and appropriations, said that they will soon start the deliberation at the committee level the proposed amendments on the local tax code.

He said in an interview that the city’s local tax code is already obsolete and that a 10-percent adjustment should be incorporated into the business and real property taxes.

“The last time that we updated our business tax and real property tax was nine years ago and the [Commission on Audit] requires us to update it every five years,” Dayanghirang said.

He added that the council was prompted to adjust its local taxes after they were questioned by COA why the business and real property taxes have remained low despite the exponential growth in property development.

The councilor said that they are deliberately keeping the taxes low to encourage investors to locate in the city.

Dayanghirang claimed local taxes in the city are among the lowest in Mindanao.

According to a press release issued by the City Information Office (CIO) last month, City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio created the Davao City Tax Research and Action Team (TRACT) to propose amendments to the local tax code in a bid to improve the city’s revenue generation measures.

It said the team is currently in the process of acquiring and consolidating data and statistics from government offices, business groups, importers and exporters, transnational companies, franchise holders, contractors, amusement places, among others.

But Bonifacio Tan, outgoing president of the Davao City Chamber Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII), said that the proposed adjustment on the business and the real property taxes will be one of the major issues that has to be addressed.

He said that the chamber’s incoming chairman, Antonio dela Cruz, will continue working with the local council to thresh out the adjustments on the local taxes. Dela Cruz was also chamber president for two terms, from 2014 until 2015.

Tan emphasized that the tax adjustments be made “reasonable” so that it will not burden the local businesses and residents and nor discourage the investors from coming in. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)