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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 14, 2016
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SP repeals
controversial tax
BY CHYRYSEE SAMILLANO

The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod yesterday repealed City Ordinance No. 08-14-700, series of 2014, or the ordinance that updated the schedule of market values of real properties in Bacolod City.

The tax ordinance, that was also declared by the Department of Justice as null and void for being “unjust and confiscatory”, was repealed with eight SP members voting in the affirmative.

Those who voted in favor of repealing the ordinance were Councilors Cano Tan, Caesar Distrito, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Em Legaspi-Ang, Elmer Sy, Dindo Ramos and Bart Orola.

Councilor Wilson Gamboa voted against its passage while Councilors Sonya Verdeflor and Ana Marie Palermo abstained.

Distrito, chairperson of the SP Committee on Laws, Ordinances and Good Government and the author of the repealing ordinance, said there is a need to finally put the final nail on the ordinance to allay the fears of the 173,000 landowners in the city about the unreasonable tax hike, and to once and for all resolve all questions regarding its passage.

With its passage, real property owners in the city will pay their land taxes based on the old rates, he said.

“This is a victory for our poor and oppressed small landowners and taxpayers who can finally sleep soundly every night without being bothered or threatened by any unconscionable and oppressive land tax increase.” Distrito added.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia thanked the SP for its swift and decisive action in repealing the Real Property Tax Ordinance as he had requested.

“While this ordinance has been considered inutile after having been declared unconstitutional by both the Department of Justice and the courts, its repeal puts to rest one of the most abusive measures the previous administration foisted on our people,” he said.

“I had always considered it excessive, exploitative, confiscatory and immoral, and am sure most of the councilors now feel the same. I thank Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and the rest of the SP. Indeed, we can do big things together, and put Bacolod "Back on Track" faster, Leonardia added.*CGS

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