The high court on Friday ruled that properties of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), which includes the “airport terminal building, airfield, runway, taxiway and the lots on which they are situated,” shall be exempt from the real property tax imposed by the City of Lapu-lapu.
Based on a 42-page decision, written by Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro, the Supreme Court 1st Division has approved the petition for certiorari filed by MCIAA that sought to annul all real property tax assessments made on lots utilized solely and exclusively for public or governmental pur-pose.
The five man tribunal also ruled to declare as null and void the sale in public auction of 27 of MCIAA’s properties, which were earlier sold in public auction for delinquency in realty tax obligations.
It was opined that MCIAA is a government instrumentality and all its airport lands and buildings are ex-empt from real estate taxes imposed by the local government unit (LGU).
“The airport lands and buildings of MCIAA are properties of public dominion because they are intend-ed for public use. As properties of public dominion, they indisputably belong to the State or the Re-public of the Philippines, and are outside the commerce of man,” the ruling states.
The ruling also stressed that only portions of the Airport Lands and Buildings leased to taxable persons like private parties are subject to real estate tax.