CITY OF SAN FERNANDO– The Provincial Government of Pampanga is expected to collect almost P1 billion from real property tax (RPT) as it moves to update its outdated basis for collection and conduct a general revision of property assessments and classifications in the province.
Committee on Ways an Means chair Rosve Henson told Sun.Star Pampanga that the province has been conducting a series of meetings and consultations since late year in a bid to update its RPT collection system and streamline Schedule of Market Values (SMVs) in various municipalities.
Henson, along with board members, met over the weekend with municipal assessors of the province to discuss the plans for the revision that would be reflected in an ordinance.
“Our system is currently outdated. We can collect even more RPT if the system is updated and the revisions are implemented. More RPT collection would mean more basic services and more development programs for the people,” Henson said.
Local government units are required by law to revise their SMVs and conduct general revision of property assessments and classifications once every three years. However, data from the Department of Finance show that Pampanga’s property taxes are stills based on a 1994 SMV. The last time the province conducted an assessment and classification was some 15 years ago. Pampanga is only second to Maguindanao which is late by 25 years.
Henson said that it would be expected that there would be reactions on the updating of RPT values, however he was quick to add that that province will come up with a rate system that would benefit both big and small land owners.
“We are said to be a prosperous and progressive province yet our RPT collection is way beyond what we should be collecting today. The province has been doing well in managing much of its available resources, given an improved RPT collection our Governor Lilia Pineda can translate these into even more impact projects and programs for the people,” Henson said.
Henson also added that they will seek the opinion of the courts on the matter of the City of San Fernando and Mabalacat City. The two towns seem to have “ceased” to remit their RPT shares to the province, partly because of their recently acquired status as cities.
Meanwhile, Engr. Romeo Dizon, provincial assessor, said the province’s RPT collections have already reached some P500 million, and could still be improved with the continuing efforts by local officials to automate transactions on real properties.
He said the target can only be achieved upon the full implementation of the iTax system in all municipalities in the province.
The system is designed to eliminate lengthy manual process with the use of software that provides all details about properties, tax liabilities, and encumbrances that affect ownership of a particular real property unit (RPU).
Dizon attributed the sudden increase of RPT collections on the tax mapping operation, which started as early as 2010, resulting in the discovery of some 581,683 unregistered RPUs in the province’s 20 municipalities.
The documents obtained during the tax mapping show that there are 452,620 RPUs in 470 barangays in the province.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 16, 2014.
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