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Letters to the Editor

Residential real property hardest hit by QC’s RPT hike

/ 03:12 AM February 04, 2017

This refers to the increase in real property tax (RPT) in Quezon City despite the fact that the city has the highest collection of taxes in the entire country—outgrossing even Makati City whose fabled wealth allegedly allowed its officials to help themselves to hundreds of millions of pesos in kickbacks, as now charged by the Ombudsman.  In other words, QC is super-rich.  But according to its officials,  City Hall has no choice but to impose an upward adjustment in the RPT. Mayor Herbert Bautista was quoted as saying: “Much as we do not like to burden our taxpayers, it is a requirement of the law.” Whose leg was he pulling?

Of all the crappy excuses City Hall could come up with, that has got to be the most shameless. What specific law gave the QC mayor and council “no choice but” to tax QC citizens more, even though QC has plenty of money already?  Obviously none. So to mollify the public and show they are not that greedy, the mayor dangled a consolation by promising an additional discount for senior citizens on top of the usual 20-percent discount if the tax is paid before the end of March, provided that the property is registered in their names.

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It was, of course, nothing but a hoax. As it turned out,  Bautista had all along planned on vetoing that additional discount and wanted it all in.

As the higher RPT applies indiscriminately, properties used for residential purposes are hardest hit, especially the homes of people who are in their 60s, already retired and now just rely on their life-long savings to tide them over the remaining years of their lives. Both my parents are such people who are now spending a fortune for hospital/medical bills, to boot.  With no more income (except from bank interests at the “whopping rate of 1 percent per annum”—less tax!!), how are they going to cope with about 50-percent increase in the RPT on our home now?

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Hasn’t it ever occurred to the “bright boys” in City Hall to just limit their salivating over commercial and industrial estates which, at current market valuation, are the biggest income-earners? Why include residential homes which, by definition, generate no income but only expenses for their upkeep? Alas, as usual, when it comes to the prospect of amassing wealth for themselves, public officials are just so heartless.

CHIN CHIN KATIGBAK, [email protected]

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TAGS: Chin Chi Katigbak, Inquirer letters, Quezon City, real property tax
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