Belmonte seeks review of housing tax ordinance

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Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte asked the city council to review the ordinance that imposes a .05 percent socialized housing tax (SHT) on property owners.

Belmonte, the council’s presiding officer, said the review should determine if the city should continue to implement Ordinance No. SP-2095, Series of 2011, especially with the plan to revise the fair market value of lands and buildings as proposed under Ordinance No. 20CC-141.

“It has been a few years since we started imposing (housing tax) to raise funds for our socialized housing programs. Is it still prudent to continue implementing it? Did we not achieve our goal of collecting enough funds yet?” the vice mayor asked.

She said property owners want the SHT ordinance repealed.

“Maybe it would be a big help to the property owners if we’ll review the SHT ordinance first before we consider implementing the proposed revision of our fair market value,” she added.

Belmonte said the review should also determine if the funds raised were used legally.

“Did all the funds go to where it was supposed to go?” she asked.

A brainchild of Bautista, the SHT will be implemented for five years. Mayor Herbert Bautista said this should be enough time for the city to collect the needed funds to finance the city’s land development, construction and improvement of the existing socialized housing programs such as the Bistekville housing project, and construction of core houses and medium-rise buildings.

Under the ordinance, a property owner who owns a land that has an assessed value of P100,001 or more is charged an additional 0.5 percent of the assessed value as “housing” tax on top of the annual real property tax.

According to the city government, only 26 percent of property owners in the city are affected by this ordinance.

The Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order in February 2014 stopping the implementation of the ordinance. However, the tribunal ruled that the ordinance was legal, allowing the city to continue collecting the housing tax.

In 2012, the city raised P147.44 million and in 2013, P193.51 million.

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