BAGUIO CITY–The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the Quezon City government’s ordinance imposing a hefty increase in property valuations in the city.
SC spokesman Theodore Te announced the directive during summer session of the magistrates here.
The Court granted the plea of petitioner Alliance of Quezon City Homeowners’ Association Inc. (AQCHI) seeking a temporary relief from the implementation Quezon City Ordinance No. 2556 (Series of 2016) which approved the fair market value of lands and basic unit construction costs for buildings and other structures for the revision of real property assessments in the city.
”The Court issued TRO effectively immediately and until further orders from the court enjoining respondents from implementing, collecting upon, or enforcing Quezon City Ordinance No. 2556 (series of 2016) which approved the fair market value of lands and basic unit construction cost for buildings and other structures for the revision of real property assessments in Quezon City, effectively incrasing existing values from 100 percent to 500 percent to be effective in 2017 for lands and in 2018 for buildings and other structures,” Te said during the press briefing in Baguio City.
The AQCHI named Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, the Quezon City Assessor’s Office and the City’s treasurer’s office as respondents in the petition.
Aside from issuing a TRO, the Court directed the respondents to comment on the petition of AQCHI within 10 days from notice.
Aside from AQCHI, other affected sectors including business groups have expressed their opposition to the implementation of the ordinance saying that it the additional tax would have to be pass to their customers.
Mayor Herbert M. Bautista signed Ordinance SP-2556, S-2016 which addresses the 21-year gap since fair market values for properties in Quezon City were last adjusted.
The Department of Finance (DoF) and the Commission on Audit (COA) recommended that the city government revise its outdated real property valuation system, citing Republic Act No. 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, which requires adjustments to property values every three years.
“The city assessor shall undertake the general revision of real property assessments… and shall apply the new assessment level of 5 percent for residential and 14 percent for commercial and industrial classification, respectively.”
Increases in RPT due are estimated to range from 39 to 61 percent, the socialized housing tax (SHT), which imposes an additional 0.5 percent tax on assessed value of all Quezon City lands that exceed PHP100,000, will not be increased. Low-lying and sunken areas prone to flooding will be granted a reduction of at most 20 percent of the tax base value per square meter.
Properties occupied by informal settlers will be valued based on the new schedule of FMV but will be taxed based on the 1995 schedule. Informal settlers will also be exempted from paying idle land tax, which is imposed on lands that remain uncultivated or unimproved by the property’s owner.