Dagupan’s real property taxes lowest in Region 1

UNLESS and until the Schedule of Fair Market Value (SFMV) enacted in 2003 is amended, Dagupan City will continue to charge the lowest rate of real property taxes (RPT) among cities in Region 1, and even lower than the tax rates being charged by its neighboring towns.

This surfaced during the third public hearing on Draft Ordinance O-0593 seeking to amend Section 6 of Ordinance No. 1794-2003, otherwise known as the “Schedule of Fair Market Value of Real Properties in the City of Dagupan for the year 2004 and thereafter”.

City Assessor Ronald Suni endorsed the approval of the draft ordinance proposed by Councilor Seen because the last time the city’s SFMV was updated was in 2003 and under the Local Government Code, the revision must be done after every three years.

Councilor Jeslito Seen, author of the proposed ordinance, said the prices of land in Dagupan CIty have already soared yet owners of real properties pay only nominal amount because it is based on SFMV last updated in 2003.

No mayor has since proposed an amendment.

Mayor Belen Fernandez endorsed the revision of SFMV because the law requires that it be updated every three years.

Suni also cited the low rate that fishpond owners paying RPT- as low as P10 per square meters only.

The last hearing was attended by representatives of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association (CREBA) chapter, Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines chapter, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants and private schools.

Also present was Atty. Rufino Moreno Jr., Register of Deeds of Dagupan.

Suni also clarifed that under the Local Government Code, real properties used by private schools for educational purposes are exempt from paying real property taxes but if the schools’ frontages are being used for commercial purposes, they must pay taxes for these.

City Treasurer Romelita Alcantara also revealed there is now a wide gap between the zonal valuation of properties in Dagupan drawn up by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and  the existing SMFV  of real properties.

In calling for the approval of the revision, Alcantara cited a letter of Finance Secretary Carlos Domiguez to Mayor Fernandez on Dec. 10, 2016, reminding the need to revise the city’s property assessment base.

The finance secretary noted that as of 2015, Dagupan was only able to collect Php 70.24 million using its current SFMV but could generate an additional revenue of Php18.96 million if the SFMV is updated and could increase by Php 27.85 if the collection is optimized.

During the public hearing, City Legal Officer Victoria Cabrera surmised that the absence of stakeholders during the committee hearing despite due notices could be an indication that they agree to the SFMV revision which is already long overdue. (Leonardo Micua)