Manila set to confiscate properties of 89,000 delinquent tax payers
Thousands of real properties in Manila are set to be confiscated by the local government and auctioned off if their owners fail to pay their taxes until June.
The city government issued a statement on Wednesday as an “ultimatum” for 89,000 “delinquent tax payers.”
“With a staggering P16 billion in uncollected real property tax (RPT), Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada today issued an ultimatum to 89,000 delinquent property owners in the city to settle their tax dues or lose their properties in due time,” the statement read.
“The delinquent taxpayers until June to pay up or else the city government, in accordance with the law, will be constrained to auction off their properties to recover the unpaid taxes,” the statement added.
Manila has sent notices by mail to each of the 89,000 property owners since January informing them of their tax dues.
It was also in January, according to the statement, that Estrada signed ordinance 8516, which canceled the 40 percent increase in real property taxes rates that was supposed to take effect this year.
“The 40 percent RPT increase set for implementation this January is supposed to be the continuation of the 60 percent increase that had been collected starting January 1, 2014 but Estrada said it is no longer necessary because of the improved financial status of the city government,” the statement said.
The statement added that from October 2015 to June 2016, the city government “implemented a tax amnesty for negligent RPT payers, wherein they were able to collect P1 billion.”
City treasurer Rizal del Rosario acknowledged that it is impossible to have a 100 percent collection. But they hope to collect P1.5 billion from the overdue tax dues: “If we can collect P1.5 billion, that would be good enough.”
Del Rosario said two more written notices will be sent to the owners. These will include the required publication of such notices in major newspapers, before the Office of the City Treasurer can set the date for the public auction.
“As of now we’re still in the process of complying with these prerequisites. Once we have done all these, and those delinquents have not paid up yet, we can issue the Warrant of Levy,” Del Rosario said.
After the warrant of levy, the properties can be auctioned off.
Once properties are auctioned to a winning bidder, the past owners still have one year to redeem them “by paying the bid price plus two percent interest per month and the expenses incurred by the Office of the City Treasurer in conducting the auction.”
“Now if they can settle it before June, they can avoid these penalties,” Del Rosario said.
Del Rosario pointed out that the public auction tentatively set for June will be the first comprehensive auction of delinquent properties since 2013.
“So I’m asking them to come up and pay. Tapos pag-na-auction na pag-aari nila, kawawa naman sila, sisihin pa nila ang city,” he said.
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