New Base Market Values Of
Aklan Real Properties
The provincial Assessor’s office has recommended a new Base Market Value of properties based on the 2005 data for all 17 municipalities in the province of Aklan. The Increase in base market value for residential is 125-173 percent, commercial – 142-200 percent and 125-200 percent increase in an average of 130 percent.
Meanwhile, the increase in tax due for residential lands is 31-105 percent, 137-200 percent for commercial and 122-200 percent for industrial. In Boracay Island, Malay, residential is an astounding increase of 181-241 percent, commercial - 148-200 percent, and industrial - 120-200 percent.
According to the Provincial Assessor, the justification for the phenomenal increase is that Aklan failed to revise the base market values since 2005.This is lost opportunity and the recommendation is prepared to cope with this predicament. There were consistent increases of land valuation over the years as evidenced by copies of deeds of absolute sale and mortgages filed in the office of the Provincial assessor.
According to Ms. Suzette Pioquid, the expected revision of base market value would translate to P54 million annually starting 2015 when the proposed Ordinance is approved and implemented. However, revising tax declaration of all real estate owners will cost the province P14 million.
Taxes for development sounds very desirable in a democratic and progressive society. We need tax money to build roads, classrooms, hospitals, ports and others. There is vital consideration that citizens must be aware of hence, to pay taxes correctly and religiously.
However, the formulation of taxation schedule must be humanized taking into consideration the financial status of the people. Leonore Briones, UP Economist and author alludes to taxation as the art of plucking feathers from a hen without the bird protesting it. It’s probable that the previous Administration of Gov. Carlito S. Marquez chosed to withhold the revision of real property taxes because of stagnating economy despite the booming tourism revenues of Boracay. Spike in investment on real estate is attributed to OFW’s, foreigners married to Pinays and businessman from other provinces.
Climate change is a factor to be included in the planning because from 2005-2013, a gap of eight (8) years, two super typhoons namely: Frank and Yolanda ravaged Aklan and people has to recover from the calamity. Farmers and fisherfolks grapple with weather uncertainties which are intense since in recent years resulting to low production and income.
For the last nine years, National Statistics Coordinating Board reported that 27 percent of Aklan population are living below the poverty line. In the first quarter of 2013, it was reduced to 21 percent. However, last quarter of 2013, typhoon Yolanda struck and vaunted the increase gone in a wink of an eye. Full recovery is expected in 2015 or about the time the tax increases will commence.
Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan has classified the provinces grappling with poverty into three which are: Category 1 – robust commercial activity as Pangasinan, Iloilo, Negros Occ., Quezon; Category 2 – limited economic opportunities for growth as the ARMM; and Category 3 – Areas prone to calamities like Eastern Visayas.
Based on the above description and classification, Aklan is included in Category 3 because it is prone to natural disasters. Our manufacturing sector is very weak, largely dominated by micro industries which are labor intensive, family owned and employing an average of 20 workers. Moreover, infra development is inadequate as hinterland barangays of Libacao and Madalag are not connected to the center of commerce and industry. They are more often isolated during periodic floods and typhoons. The same is true in agriculture and fisheries since Aklan relies heavily on foodstuff coming from neighboring provinces.
Aklan desperately needs investors especially in manufacturing, business, tourism and recreation. However, for Aklanons to do so taxes must be reasonable. A 200 percent increase for investor has to pay other obligations like electricity, building rental, business tax, and Mayor’s Permit among others. With less investor, there will be scant employment opportunities.
The Schedule of Base Market Values for agriculture lands had no figure. Hence, it is believed the province condones payment from landowners in the form of taxes.
The reason why we are poor as a nation is due to our blind eye on “black spots” of our natural resources. This agricultural areas must be taxed as a commercial land since owners are business speculators. Financial burden may force them to develop real estate into productive uses like agro-forestry, pasture lands and recreation area. Better still, owners must be forced to sell property to more enterprising individuals who can produce more crops on those land. Evidently, this needs legal statute to be effective.
It is suggested to the Committees on Appropritation, Budget and Finance and Ways and Means that the updated base market values of real properties be reasonable, just and affordable considering that 30 percent of Aklan’s population is living below poverty line (computed by 26,485 households, 6 family members as 4P’s beneficiaries). The recent ordinance the SP passed condones payment for real property taxes due to typhoon Yolanda. It is humbly suggested that 40 percent across the board increase on all classes of real estate based on 2005 data effective January 1, 2005 is highly fair, just, and reasonable.
It is expected the 40 percent increases will be revised again in 2018 and every 3 years thereafter. A staggered approach will be reasonable compared to drastic and unrealistic proposals that can significantly affect Aklan’s impressive performance in tax collection. /MP