Housing group bats zonal value and property tax hikes



The Manila Times


Public Square

THE Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. (Creba) has renewed its appeal to the finance department and the commissioner of internal revenue for the suspension of plans to increase zonal values of properties across the country as the property sector continues to feel the brunt of the economic effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Creba National Chairman Charlie A. V. Gorayeb said in a statement that while their group commends fiscal and economic strategies measures enforced by the past administration, the Philippine economy continues to contract three years since the break of the pandemic, and consumption has yet to jump back up and unemployment in various sectors remains high. Construction and real estate particularly suffered tremendously, Creba National President Noel Toti Cariño stressed, with developers, sellers and banks having to contend with numerous payment delays and buyer defaults. “While property prices are on a standstill due to low demand and increased inflation, taxes on property transfers no longer reflect the true and actual values of house and lot purchases — add to that the spiraling costs for construction,” Cariño said further. “The industry appeals that zonal values of properties across the country remain at pre-pandemic levels and that no increase be implemented during the time the country remains in a state of calamity due to Covid-19. This would allow the zonal value to reflect the actual valuation of property and aid developers and property owners in keeping tax-related expenses at a reasonable level,” Creba said. The group is also reiterating its earlier petition for the freezing of real property taxes for at least two years, urging the government to train its focus on other major revenue sources for basic programs, such as confronting corrupt practices across all bureaucratic levels, instead of imposing additional property-related taxes at both national and LGU levels.