Local News: ‘New Bacolod Tax Code is Legal’
Some groups call the new revenue tax code of Bacolod City as illegal.
Ronald Ian Evidente of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) is urging taxpayers not to pay taxes because the new code is “illegal, unjust and morally wrong” and “increasing taxes is a strategy of the city to be able to pay loans aside from the shrinking revenues.”
He blames city officials for the millions of loans for infrastructure projects without anticipating the consequences.
Evidente urges businessmen and taxpayers to unite and oppose the new revenue tax code of Bacolod. While there are some people who reportedly intend to file charges against the city government before the Department of Justice to oppose the new revenue tax code. They will launch a mass action or protest to oppose the implementation of the new tax code.
Former Bacolod Congressman Monico Puentevella is reportedly filing charges against the city officials before the DOJ to oppose the implementation of the new tax code of the city.
However, Rodel Parcon, executive assistant on public information in the city mayor’s office said, “how could the new revenue tax code be illegal if it is patterned on the law, based on Republic Act (RA) 7160, which is the Local Government Code, prescribing therein that the local government unit can levy taxes?”
The previous local revenue tax code 18 years ago, Parcon said, the tax charged to the big businesses was regressive. Meaning the bigger the business, the smaller the tax, which was not within RA 7160.
While the small businesses paid taxes according to RA 71 60, the big businesses are referred to wholesalers/distributors, manufacturers, retailers, contractors and special types of businesses like motels/hotels, hospitals and financial institutions as banks. These businesses pay less taxes than the small business as per previous revenue tax code.
Now comes the new tax code, which has passed a series of public hearings and processes before the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, and strictly observes the law as per RA 7160. In this new code, the bigger the business, the bigger the tax. Hence the big businesses will be paying about 500% as per RA 7160, as compared to their previous 10% only.
At the recent meeting with businessmen with city officials, they demanded to retain the 10% increase only. But Parcon said, it would be still a regressive situation and not within RA 7160.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said it is the right of every taxpayer to complain. But other people use the issue for political advancement, while others are just muddling the issue. “We are willing to sit down and talk on possible solution. We believe in the process of consultation,” the Mayor said* (EBC)