Tacloban posts higher than expected tax earnings

TACLOBAN CITY, Aug. 11 (PNA) — The city government recorded a PHP 152.9 million tax collection during the first half of 2014, surpassing the entire year target but the generated revenue is way below than last year’s actual.

From January to June, the local government collection exceeded twice the PHP 72.25 million collection target for the year, said City Treasurer Zosima A. Cordaño.

However, the 2014 first semester figure is way low the PHP 379.6 million collection a year ago as the city’s businesses are still reeling from the impacts of last year’s super typhoon Yolanda.

“The recovery of some establishments was faster than expected. By the end of 2014, we would have a PHP 200 million collection from local taxes. This figure is the lowest in the past decades because the city has been generating PHP 400 to PHP 500 million taxes every year,” Cordaño said.

In 2013, the city earned a PHP 460.57 million in local taxes, making the city less dependent to internal revenue allotment (IRA) from the central government.

For this year, Tacloban’s IRA share inched up to PHP 478.5 million from PHP 423.8 million in the previous year.

The city registered the biggest drop in business taxes, fees and other charges from PHP 312.68 million in the first six months of 2013 to PHP 95.96 million. Of the 10,000 registered businesses in 2013, only 4,000 have renewed their business permits, according to the city government.

Real property taxes also declined to PHP 37.88 million from PHP 44.29 million in the previous year. Earnings from economic enterprises went down from PHP 22.65 million in 2013 to PHP 19.08 million this year.

In the second half of 2014, the city government will step up drive to generate more local taxes, after the extended June 30 deadline for the renewal of business permits and licenses from the usual January 30.

“Our strategy is to send notices to those who have not yet renewed their businesses. Those who are operating, but not paying their obligations, we have been sending warnings,” Ms. Cordaño told reporters.

The city government also hold off auction sales of delinquent properties after November 8, citing “humanitarian reasons.” (PNA)