The New Tax Code of Bacolod City is in accordance with the guidelines set by the Local Government Code of 1992, acting Permits and Licensing Division head Vicente Petierre III said yesterday.
Petierre was reacting to the claim of businessman Vladimir Gonzalez that the city imposed the new tax rates abruptly, so the New Revenue Code is anti-business.
Gonzalez also said other cities increased their taxes by only 10 percent so Bacolod has not leveled off with other cities. The increase should be graduated, he added, in a press conference last week.
He also said that since the city’s taxes are cheaper compared to other cities, that is an attraction by itself, he said. There are other ways to generate revenues and it is not right to put the burden abruptly on the businessmen just to comply with the LGC, he added.
Petierre, however, said they only set the tax ceiling as required by the LGC.
“He shouldnot say the increase was abrupt, so it is anti-business. I do not think that was the intension of the LGC,” he said.
In fact, before the LGC was passed in 1992, it was studied very well by then Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Petierre said.
He however, also said there is a continuing dialog between the businessmen and the city government on the New Tax Code and that he believes the result is very fruitful.
Petierre said “I do not know which group of businessmen Gonzalez belongs to because I do not see him during the dialogs held by the city with the businessmen.”
He said he hopes Gonzalez does not use the tax revenue measure as his campaign slogan, he said.
Petierre said if he were the candidate, he would show his capabilities for the people to be convinced to vote for him, and not because of his criticisms against the present administration.
“I have noted a big development with the implementation of the New Revenue Code in terms of improvement in services, especially in the barangays,” he also said.
From his personal point of view, Petierre said, the dialog between the businessmen and the city has been very fruitful because the city officials did not only listen to the businessmen, but were receptive to their suggestions.
The question of the legality of the New Tax Code is now in the Court, he said so they should wait for its decision.*CGS