By Sally A. Atento
LEGAZPI CITY --- Taxes collected in this city increased by 20.32 percent from P188,465.08 in the first quarter last year to P226,768,408. 54 in the same period this year.
City Mayor Noel Rosal said the improved local tax collection is one of the impacts of the city government’s initiatives in strengthening fund sources to be used for priority development projects and programs of the city.
“The improving local tax collection manifests the effectiveness, commitment and transparency of the city administration in strengthening and streamlining its assessment and collection to finance the various priority development projects and programs for the continuous progress and prosperity of this city,” Rosal said.
The city’s local taxes include collections from business, real properties, penalties, fees and charges and economic enterprises.
The biggest tax collection comes from the business sector amounting to P132, 245, 641.84, higher than the P112, 894,766.52 collections on the same period last year.
Real property taxes also increased from P26,503,045.34 to P35,139,187.96.
Increased revenues were likewise recorded for tax collected from other taxes and penalties amounting to P21,420,579.77 and from economic enterprises amounting to P7,915,391.05
Tax collected from fees and charges surged from P24,349,709.78 to P30,047,607.92.
Rosal said the entry of various giant business establishments and other local malls operating in the city are manifestations for continuous economic prosperity.
“The business sector is considered as an accelerator of economic growth that contributed a huge amount of business taxes in the city’s local coffer and gave more employment opportunities to our constituents,” he said.
The city chief executive expressed optimism that the city’s local taxes will continue to improve as the SM City Legazpi owned by the SM Prime Holdings Inc. isexpected to open its operation this coming September.
Rosal further noted that the city government will continue its tax collection campaign to remind tax payers, particularly big business establishments, to promptly pay their taxes.
“These can be used for payments of salaries and wages of employees and also for the implementation of infrastructure and environmental projects including health programs as well as social and economic services,” Rosal said.
Likewise, city treasurer Carlita De Guzman said aside from the continuous increase in business establishments, effective implementation of licensing and permit schemes also contributed to higher tax collections.
“Effective implementation of one-stop shop licensing scheme by the city’s Business Permit and Licensing Office reduced the steps and made easier the processing of business clearances and permits,” she said.
De Guzman added that the adoption of Enhanced Tax Revenue Assessment and Collection System (ETRACS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) granted by the Australian Government also helped in the improvement in the city’s real property tax.
This system is designed to modernize and speed-up the revenue assessment and collection system of this city.