Idle landowners not paying taxes for decades

By: Gerome Dalipe

SOME landowners in Iloilo Province are not paying their additional one percent tax levied on their idle lots since 1991.

That’s because the Provincial Assessor’s Office is not maintaining updated records of all idle lands in Iloilo, the Commission on Audit (COA) discovered.

Thus, the Provincial Treasurer’s Office did not have the basis to notify the owner of the property, or person having the legal interest of the property on the one percent additional tax on idle lands.

The situation ran contrast to Section 239 of the provisions of the Local Government Code and the  2017  Revised  Revenue Code of the Province of Iloilo.

“Consequently, no revenue was generated since 1991, depriving the Province of other sources to finance its developmental projects or activities,” read the COA report.

The auditors asked the governor to direct the provincial assessor to formulate the plan and strategies in identifying and classifying idle lands.

There is also a need to establish a database or complete list of idle lots to be furnished to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office.

In that way, the Capitol treasurer can notify the landowners of idle lot about the additional one percent tax for idle land for efficient collection.

Apart from having no updated list of idle lots, the Capitol also failed to establish “reliable” baselines on the economic status of participants and gaps among men and women prior to the conduct of various capacity development training for women micro and small entrepreneurs.

Thus, auditors could not validate the accomplishments by Capitol’s Local  Learning  Hub in terms of the project’s effectiveness and efficiency of interventions to reduce gender disparities and inequalities.

The state auditors asked the governor to direct the Provincial Gender and Development Committee to ensure the implementation of programs relative to women’s economic empowerment.

The Capitol’s provincial gender and development committee is also tasked to revisit and consider the conduct of actual gender needs analysis on the designs and concepts of the training and seminars.

The committee members are also urged to conduct post-evaluation on the program’s clientele and render a report on the status of gender gaps and economic inequalities as well as the impact of all interventions.