Valenzuela reports 14% hike in revenues
The Valenzuela City government revealed increased revenue collections in the first quarter of the year as it said it hoped to earn a huge chunk of its P2.4 billion budget to fund several major infrastructure projects set to be implemented this year.
Mayor Rexlon Gatchalian told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the city collected P536 million in taxes as the first quarter deadline for tax payments lapsed on Jan. 20.
“This is 14 percent or P68 million higher compared to the P467 million the city collected in the same period last year. This increase applies across the board—for business permits, building permits and real property tax,” Gatchalian said in an interview.
Business and real property taxes are the two biggest local income generators for the city. Gatchalian noted that the continued increase in tax payments came despite the fact that the local government has yet to raise its rates ever since Valenzuela became a city in 1998.
Year-on-year, Gatchalian said he expected the city’s local revenue from tax and fees to increase by 15 to 18 percent, compared to the more than P1 billion it collected last year.
Asked to explain the increase in collections, the mayor cited the city government’s efficient tax collection system.
“We’re efficiently collecting taxes. We’ve automated everything in city hall, including the building permit system we launched earlier this year. That’s minimizing system loss and efficiently collecting what’s due the local government,” he said.
And while Gatchalian acknowledged that business was growing in one of the northernmost cities of Metro Manila, he suggested that trust in the local government also played a key role in driving up its tax collection.
Trust also a factor
“The people and the business community’s trust and confidence in the local government is another reason why they are willing to pay their taxes. They see where it is going,” he said.
Gatchalian added that the revenue would help fund the city government’s “mega-projects” for the year, which include a frenzy of construction projects to improve education, healthcare and the city’s socialized housing infrastructure.
The Valenzuela City Council last year enacted a P2.4 billion budget for 2014. Gatchalian said over two-thirds of the budget was expected to come from local sources while the rest would come from the national government through the city’s Internal Revenue Allotment.
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