Quezon tax campaign leads to new income levels

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LUCENA CITY—The energized tax collection program of the provincial government has started to reverse a decades-old trend of low revenues in Quezon, according to the province’s treasurer.

Marilou Uy, Quezon provincial treasurer, said revenue collection went up this year to P452 million from P409 million in 2010.

Uy attributed this to the campaign by the provincial government called “Damayan at Serbisyong Publiko ng Bawat Pisong Buwis Mo.”

“Our target for this year is P474 million and we are on the right track,” Uy said.

She said the annual tax collection of Quezon in the last 10 years ranged from only P250 million to P300 million.

She said local government units should not be totally dependent on their internal revenue allotment and instead exert more effort to improve local tax collection.

Quezon tried but failed to collect P6.1 billion from the Pagbilao power plant but President Aquino’s Executive Order No. 27 last year stopped the provincial government from collecting the power firm’s unpaid realty taxes.

Gov. David Suarez said Quezon has a unique real property tax collection program that tapped teachers, students, nongovernment organizations, municipal and village officials and the business sector.

Hermes Argante, Lopez town treasurer, said the program has slowly changed the mindset of most taxpayers from procrastinating on their tax payments to paying ahead of the deadline.

“Our taxpayers are now encouraged to pay on time,” he said.

Under the revitalized revenue drive, prompt payment of taxes could earn prizes for the taxpayer, including new cars and cash.

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