Legazpi tops tax collection among Bicol cities

LEGAZPI CITY—With its remarkable increase in tax collection, the City Treasurer’s Office pushed this city to No. 1 position among all cities throughout the Bicol Region in terms of efficient collection of local revenues in 2014.

Legazpi tops tax collection among Bicol cities

City Treasurer Carmelita P. De Guzman received a certificate of recognition from Florencio C. Dino II, officer-in-charge (OIC)-Bicol regional director of the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), during the recent 2nd Quarter Regional Conference of Bicol Treasurers and Assessors here.

The recognition was based on the target in local revenues that include real property and business taxes and other fees and charges.

De Guzman said her target in 2014 real property taxes was Php71.07 million but the CTO collected Php108.16 million, with an increase of 152.2 percent.

Her target in business taxes and other fees and charges, she said, was Php159.06 million but her office posted Php177.36 million, with an improvement of 111.5 percent.

The city treasurer disclosed that for the past years, the city government of Legazpi was always number one in realty tax collection and number two in business taxes but the evaluated result conducted by the BLFG’s evaluating team in 2014 of tax collection performance of all the local government units in Bicol, gave Legazpi the top rank in both business and real property taxes.

The city’s improvement in tax collection was the result of the aggressive implementation of its tax campaign wherein all the business establishments operating in this city was informed by the CTO about their delinquency.

De Guzman said she urged these businesses to declare the true proceeds or income of their businesses.

She said the business one-stop shop licensing scheme by the city’s Business, Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) also helped in the increased business tax collections from the owners of the establishments by reducing the steps and made the processing of business clearances and permits easier.

All the collected taxes by the CTO will be used for salary and wages of the employees, economic services and the implementation of programs and projects of the city administration, she added.

De Guzman revealed that another factor for the city’s tax efficiency was the effective implementation of Geographical Information System (GIS) that produces thematic layers for planning as well as the identification of delinquent taxpayers and business operations.

The city has also adopted the enhanced Tax Revenue Assessment and Collection System (ETRACS) which is an automated assessment of taxes and other business fees and charges, she added.

These two highly technical systems are operating under the Boosting Legazpi through Land Information for Advancement Sustainability and Transparency (BLAST) project of the city government managed by the offices of City Planning and Development, Assessor and Treasurer to identify whether the real property is delinquent or not.

It also monitors the business establishments operating in this city, De Guzman said.

The ETRACS and GIS materialized through a Php4.5-million grant given by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to the city government of Legazpi.

These two technical systems were assisted by the AusAID under the Land Administration and Management Project.

Another three giant corporations are expected to operate in this city next year -- the Ayala Corp., Yashano and Gregorian Malls.

“These three businesses will give us much improved tax collection because they will pay to the city administration their real property taxes and they are also oblige to settle their business permits and other clearances before the operation of their businesses,” De Guzman.(PNA)