By Mortz C. Ortigoza
URDANETA CITY – The mayor of this bustling city has asked the Sangguniang Panlungsod (city council) to spike by 10% the business taxes paid yearly by merchants here.
|The spruced up Urdaneta City hall.|
Mayor Amadeo Gregorio Perez III said although he asked for the legislation of the tax hikes, the members of the council are still deliberating the merits of his proposal.
“Itataas namin ng 10%,” he said.
The Local Government Code of 1991 provides that the rates of taxes the city may levy may exceed the maximum rates allowed for the province or municipality by not more than fifty percent (50%) except the rates of professional and amusement taxes.
But unlike highly urbanized or independent component city like Dagupan, this city shared some of the business taxes it collected with the provincial government.
Perez said that as of this year the annual appropriation approved by the council is P667 million.
“It is P667 million, but I am not sure about the exact figure,” he told this paper in Filipino.
Last year this city has a fiscal appropriation of P637 million exclusive of special legislation last year.
Perez said the income earned by this city operated Urdaneta City University (UCU) diminished after the flow of students taking nursing course plunged significantly due to the lethargic demand of the profession abroad.
UCU used to earn P200 million annually in the past years.
Last year the mayor said that UCU churned out P150 million in 2013 which was included in the city’s latest figure of its general appropriation fund.
The sum was inclusive of the P637 million fiscal appropriations for year 2013 that made Urdaneta the highest earning city in Region 1.
Perez however said that what revenues UCU earn goes to its coffer and this city coffer has nothing to do with any income derived by the school. He explained that it only juxtaposed the income of the UCU and the taxes collected by this city every year but projects implemented under his administration have been bankrolled by this city’s taxes.