Cabanatuan, Are You Ready for RPT?
RPT stands for Real Property Tax, which, once implemented by the Cabanatuan local government, punishes honest taxpayers by forcefully levying them with a 600% to 800% increase in mortgages of their commercial and private properties.
If we believe the local government led by Mayor Julius Cesar “Jay” Vergara,we need the RPT hike urgently simply because the Cabanatuan’s current RPT rate is “outdated”. This, he says, is consistent with the national government or Department of Finance memo instructing select local governments like Cabanatuan to update the current RPT rates. Also supposedly, assuming that these new taxes are collected efficiently, they will in turn help improve public service.
All of these, as you guessed it, will be at the expense of the Cabanatuan property owners and tax payers.
Meanwhile, a tax-delinquent corporation owned by the mayor himself has been getting away unscathed. Based on the case filed by former mayor Alvin Vergara, IPP (independent power provider) First Cabanatuan Ventures Corporation (FCVC) has been remiss on its tax duties by a whopping 100-million plus.
We accept that effective public service is partly fueled by proper taxation; so long as the rationale behind the increase is justifiable, its rate is humanely reasonable, its collection is efficiently managed, and its results are visible to the people it intends to serve.
As property owners and tax payers, weneed to ask:
- What is a local government bragging to be cash-sufficient suddenly mulling a tax increase? It will be recalled that from the mayor’s annual budget, 20% of its development fundremains unused. In the end, where will the money collected from the approved tax hike go?
- What is the mayor’s basis for raising the RPT from 600% to 800%? Were the 270,000 people of Cabanatuan properly consulted?
- On point of efficient tax collection alone, DOF findings point out that Cabanatuan has been “most inefficient” with a negative 6.6 rating (representing roughly 20% of the total taxpaying public). So why make honest tax payers carry the burden of additional tax hike while the local government has not proven itself worthy of ensuring proper tax collection in the first place?
- Meanwhile, why let the other 80% of delinquent companies run away scot-free, the mayor’s own corporation FCVC apparently being one of those?
- In short, what is someone like Mayor Jay Vergara doing as implementer of a tax hike order if his and his wife’s company First Cabanatuan Ventures Corporation (FCVC) is itself atax violator, as charged by his own cousin, Cabanatuan ex-mayor Alvin Vergara?
Beyond the hypocrisy, indeed, are the unnecessary burden, unspeakable injustice and collective rape foisted by the 800% Real Property Tax hike against Cabanatuan land owners and tax payers. Cabanatuenos need it like another bullet in the head, an additional burden to a people already saddled by high income tax, VAT, and increasing cost of living.