Idle lands to be exempted from Baguio property tax

>> Friday, May 19, 2017

By Dexter A. See 

BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance exempting owners of idle lands in the city from paying the required real property tax.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Ellaine D. Sembrano stated Baguio City is a declared townsite reservation and all lands outside government proclaimed reservations are classified as residential lands.
However, she explained due to the city’s mountainous and peculiar topography and the prevalence of trees, some residential lots are reportedly difficult to develop prohibiting the maximum utilization of the said lands.
The ordinance added the physical difficulty of developing lands located in mountainous areas is actually an opportunity vis-à-vis the environmental programs of the local government and the said situation could be explored as one measure for the enhancement of the city’s ecological quality as the city is also popularly known as the City of Pines.
The ordinance said it is fitting to look into all possibilities that lead to the affirmation of such reputation.
Under the proposed ordinance, those that shall be exempted from paying real property taxes are real properties owned by the Republic of the Philippines or any of its political subdivisions, except in the beneficial use has been granted, for consideration or otherwise, to taxable person; charitable institutions, churches, parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit or religious cemeteries and all lands, buildings, and improvements actually, and exclusively used for religious, charitable or educational or hospital purposes; all machineries and equipment that are actually, directly and exclusively used by local water districts and government-owned or controlled corporations engaged in the supply and distribution of water or generation and transmition of electric power; all real properties owned by duly registered cooperatives as provided for under the Cooperative code of the Philippines; machinery and equipment used for pollution control and environmental protection and residential lands forested with Benguet pine trees provided that the said lands will meet the qualifications such as, the land area is not less than 200 square meters, the Benguet pine trees shall have a trunk diameter of 12 inches and a density of at least 20 pine trees per 100 square meters, that the property is not occupied or tilled whether by the owner or any individual and that the lot subject for exemption is communicated to the City Treasury Office attached the certifications from the City Environment and Parks Management Office and the Punong Barangay attesting that said lot is indeed forested with Benguet pine trees among other conditions.
Except as provided in the ordinance, any exemption from payment of real property tax previously granted to or presently enjoyed by, all persons, whether natural or juridical, including all government-owned or controlled corporations are hereby withdrawn upon effectivity of this ordinance.
Further, the ordinance pointed out the exemptions contained in the measure shall automatically cease for violation of any of the prescribed conditions and the taxes shall be levied, including all applicable penalties.
The application for exemption under the ordinance shall be done annually.


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