CITY OF BAGUIO: City Council passed a resolution asking Mayor Benjamin Magalong to suspend implementation of a steep increase in property taxes, as required by Baguio City’s Land Market Value Schedule (Ordinance 16 -2020).
Under section 4 of the order, the implementation of the property tax increase will be “staggered over a two-year period so that 70% is applied in the first year and 30% is applied in the second year. “.
Councilor Joel Alangsab and Councilor Fred Bagbagen, authors of the resolution, argued that the implementation of the property tax increase is inappropriate, given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on property owners .
Councilors said the increase in property tax is an additional burden not only for property owners but also for tenants since the former would consequently increase the rents of the latter.
According to the Market Land Values Schedule, the assessment level for residential and agricultural land is set at 2% while the assessment level for land in the commercial, industrial, mineral and special categories is 7%.
Jeanine Chan, owner of Mountain Lodge, described the property tax increase as “exorbitant” and “unfair”.
Representing the Baguio Country Club, attorney Christine Angelica Elveña called on city officials to find ways to lessen the impact of rising real estate market values on ratepayers.
In his presentation of samples of fair market value of properties in the city, Elveña claimed that 2,300% would be the highest possible increase in fair market value for residential properties, while 4,778% for commercial properties. Chan said the property tax paid by Mountain Lodge has increased from 65,000 pesos to 259,000 pesos per year.