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Real property owners will get their money back — ‘Bistek’

10/31/2011 [ tribune.net.ph ]

The Quezon City government is only borrowing money from middle-class and commercial/industrial taxpayers when it starts to collect additional revenues out of the newly approved Socialized Housing Tax (SHT) ordinance which was aimed at funding its housing program for qualified informal settler families.

As a matter of fact, Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista said, real property owners in the city will get 100 percent tax credits on SHT effective after five years of continued payments.

This is one of the taxpayer-friendly features of the measure, said the mayor who recently signed the new tax ordinance in simple ceremonies at the QC hall Bulwagang Amoranto.

The ordinance is intended to raise revenues to finance the socialized housing program for the city’s informal settler families, Greg Banacia, the city’s chief of the Public Affairs Information Service Office (PAISO), said.

Bautista urged the 26-member city council and the concerned departments to ensure that 20 percent of the five-year SHT payments be credited yearly starting on the sixth year and will end on the 10th year of the SHT ordinance.

“I am asking for the fulfillment of our promise to give back to the taxpayers who dutifully pay for five years their SHT payments in the form of tax credits starting from the sixth year,” Bautista said.

He strongly believed the moral integrity of the city and its officials is at stake in the implementation of the SHT credits.

“Hindi natin puwedeng gawin halimbawa na iyon lamang sa residential ang ibabalik natin at iyong sa commercial o industrial ay hindi. We should make true our promise as stated in the ordinance to give credits whether residential or commercial/industrial,” he said.

He added: “We could only cease giving credits if the concerned companies or owners themselves are the ones requesting this.”

SHT, which is a special assessment equivalent to 0.05 percent of the assessed value of QC lots in excess of P100,000, will be on full implementation starting January 2012.

The mayor reiterated with the implementation of SHT ordinance next year, his administration could fund the much-needed infrastructure development for the city’s informal settlers, especially those living in danger areas which are more than 33,000 families.

“This new tax measure will address the lack of socialized housing in the city which is the root cause of the decades-old informal settler problem,” he said.

At the same time, the mayor explained the fund to be raised from SHT collection will also be utilized for slum upgrading or improving blighted areas and other social development projects of the local government, not only in land-banking for socialized housing.

“If the past administration concentrated on economic development of QC, this administration is now focusing on social development of the city and its people,” he said. Arlie O. Calalo
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