City tax scheme needs careful re-evaluation — Luis Climaco PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 April 2013 14:30

Zamboanga City, to become the next boom town and its aspirations to rise up as an economic powerhouse in this part of the country will have to become competitive to attract capital inflow for possible business ventures here.

This was the gist of a message delivered by lawyer Luis Climaco, a vice mayoralty candidate of Team Fuerza Zamboanga during an interview with RMN Radio Friday afternoon.

Atty. Luis, who is the running mate of mayoralty bet Erbie A. Fabtian under Team Fuerza said the city’s tax structure is among the highest in the country with real property taxes ascending to 102 percent over what was a couple of years ago.

Running a highly respected law office, specializing among others on real estate matters, Atty. Luis said this does not augur well for a city trying to position itself as the next investments destination in the country.

“Land is a basic requirement for putting up a business and our real property taxes have more than doubled the past few years putting a damper on potential business investors here, not discounting the big strain it is putting on local businessmen for the added costs in tax payments,” the 15-year veteran of the city council said.

“We at Fuerza Zamboanga have committed, based on our 10-point agenda  to put a moratorium on new taxes and excessive collection of fees, aside from vowing to review and re study the present taxing scheme here,” Atty. Climaco added.

He said tax impositions must be made to be fair, just and reasonable based on realistic land valuation, or else the city stands to drive even marginal coconut farmers to bankruptcy as prices for copra have remained erratic in the world market.

‘To us at Fuerza it is unconscionable to mete high taxes on our people while the city government is awash with money stashed away in banks, and we just do not see the logic in all this,” he added.

Reiterating the Team’s stand that it is not against the payment of correct taxes to the government, Atty. Climaco said rationalizing the tax system could be a first step at returning Zamboanga to becoming competitive once again.

Fuerza Zamboanga stands on a comprehensive agenda for the city that is practical, doable and relevant as he rallied people behind the group’s banner for the forthcoming May 13 polls.

‘A vote for Fuerza Zamboanga is a vote for a coherent plan to move the city forward for peace, progress and prosperity,” Atty. Luis said. — FZ Media Bureau