GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 November) — The city government is set to auction at least 600 delinquent private real properties as it moves to recover around P17 million in unpaid realty taxes.
Maritess Sevilla, head of the land tax division of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), said Monday they have scheduled the public auction sale on Nov. 15-16 for all real properties with accumulated unpaid taxes in the last several years.
She said the upcoming public action is the second that will be conducted by the city government this year.
Under the law, she said real properties are deemed delinquent one year after their owners fail to settle their real property tax dues.
Such provision was set in Title II of the Local Government Code or Republic Act 7160 and its implementing rules and regulations.
Sevilla said they initially listed more than 900 “delinquent” real properties such as homes, lands, machineries and business establishments within the city’s 26 barangays for this month’s public auction.
But she said around 300 property owners have settled their tax dues prior to the issuance of the warrants of levy and the publication of the properties for auction.
The official owners of the 600 properties lined up for auction may still settle their tax dues before the opening of the auction on Nov. 15.
“But they have to make full payments of their delinquencies since the warrants (of levy) were already issued and we have published those covered by the auction,” she said.
As standard procedure, the list of the concerned properties should be published first in a newspaper prior to the conduct of the public auction.
Aside from the publication, a final demand letter will be issued to the owner and will be followed by a warrant of levy if no payment or settlement is made. A warrant of levy means that a delinquent real property has been attached to the name of the city government.
Upon receipt of the warrant, property owners are given time to settle the tax delinquency. If no payment is made, the forfeiture of the property is published and the auction is scheduled.
Sevilla reiterated that owners of properties that would be acquired during the public auction sale are given one year to redeem them.
In 2016, the city government collected around P238.56 million in real property taxes, posting a collection efficiency of 117.01 percent based on its target collection of P203.87 million.
Last month, the Department of Finance’s Bureau of Local Government Finance recognized the city government as the top performer among first class cities in Region 12 or Soccsksargen in terms of realty tax collection last year. (MindaNews)