SP defers move to condone real property tax penalties

By Rey Anthony Chiu | 03:10 PM April 01, 2023

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee (SP Committee) on Finance, Budget and Appropriations is asking a lobby group to submit a more comprehensive study and position paper, before it can decide for or against the move to rule for condonation of real property tax penalties for a period in a certain town.

A positive action from the SP Committee could set a domino effect to other towns, denting on provincial services dependent on real property tax collection.

Considering that a decision based on incomplete data and ill-studied proposition could potentially lead to bad precedence despite a good intention, the SP Committee has deferred its decision on a group’s bid to provide a condonation of delinquent real property tax obligations, as requested by the municipality of Trinidad.

Acting on a position paper transmitted by the Bohol Municipal Treasurers’ League (Bomuntreal) in support to Trinidad, Bohol’s Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 155 series of 2022 seeking for condonation of real property tax penalties for a certain period, Provincial Treasurer Eustaquio Socorin referred the matter to the SP Committee for appropriate action.

Earlier, Bomuntreal, in coordination with the Office of the Provincial Treasurer, submitted a position paper supporting the condonation of real property tax penalties request of the Sangguniang Bayan of Trinidad.

Bomuntreal, which put in its favorable support to the resolution claimed that many land owners relied on those who till their land to pay the tax.

The failure of the tenants in paying would result to the accumulation of tax dues.

The group also cited the practice of payment made by some heirs for only a portion of the lot and not the entire property, to which the government only treats as partial payment.

In other situations, some property owners who are out of the country or outside Bohol, sometimes miss the tax payments resulting in accumulated tax dues.

Moreover, the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic and super typhoon Odette, led to the economic misery of Boholano constituents, that in the attempt to cope up, payment of real property tax came below the list of their top priorities.

Bomuntreal also believes that granting of condonation on real property tax penalties would give the property owner the opportunity to clean up their real property tax obligation and motivate them to feel the importance of paying the tax promptly.

Bomuntreal’s position however has the SP Committee divided.

Committee members believe that condoning the penalties is prejudicial to the interest of the Province, the action would dent so much on the Special Education Fund, and the action could pave a way for a disadvantageous precedence especially in terms of the province-wide collection of taxes.

In consideration of such, Committee members has given Bomuntreal, 14 days to submit a more comprehensive position letter.

The Committee would want to see the proposed methods used in the collection of taxes as well as methods in disseminating information to delinquent and up-to-date taxpayers and as well as a possible reward mechanisms for good taxpayers.

Pending such updated action from the treasurer’s league, the SP Committee deferred its action on the request. (PIA-7/Bohol)

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