Bontoc, Mountain Province – “The early bird catches the worm.” This is a catchphrase of the Provincial Government of Mountain Province to entice individual taxpayers to pay their Real Property Taxes (RPT) in advance for Calendar Year 2016 to avail of tax discounts.
Provincial Treasurer Cawed A. Gamonnac said that the discounts are embodied in an existing revenue ordinance of the province that provides financial incentives to early taxpayers. The taxes collected, in turn, will help the province lock up revenues and enable the financial planners to formulate a budget to efficiently deliver basic services to constituents.
In a notice being circulated and posted in conspicuous spaces in the province, the one percent Basic Tax and one percent Special Education Fund (SEF) shall be collected simultaneously. A 10% discount of the Total Current Tax is being granted to those who pay promptly within the prescribed period of payment. Taxpayers are also entitled to a 20% discount for advance payment if they pay their RPT before January 1, 2016.
Further, taxpayers are given the option as to where they want to pay their taxes. For the first time, payments can now be made at the Office of the Provincial Treasurer. Traditionally, taxes are paid at the municipal treasury office where the property is located.
Payments can be paid in full or in four equal instalments without interest, provided that payments are made within the allowed period. The first instalment is payable on or before March 31, 2016; second instalment is on or before June 30, 2016; third and fourth instalment is on or before September 30, 2016 and on or before December 31, 2016 respectively.
Gamonnac stressed that failure to pay real property taxes for both basic and SEF on or before the dates indicated shall subject the taxpayer to the payment of interest at a rate of two percent of the amount of delinquent tax, for each month of delinquency until the tax has been fully paid, but not to exceed 36 months. “If still tax payments have not been made, the office has no recourse but to invoke to administrative and or civil remedies as provided in the Local Government Code of 1991 particularly on Section 183 to enforce collections,” he added.
Meanwhile, the resolution of the Sangguniang Bayan of Besao requesting the condonation of interests and penalties of delinquent real property taxes and a request of legal opinion by Bauko Mayor Abraham Akilit to enable him to have a compromise agreement with taxpayers of Bauko are still pending at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The action of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in these requests will definitely impact on the moves of the provincial government on the collection of taxes. // Alfredo F. Macalling