Legazpi City Hall. (PNA file photo) 

LEGAZPI CITY – The city government here managed to collect higher revenues even with the prevailing pandemic in 2020 compared to its collected taxes in 2019.

Data from the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) showed the collected revenues peaked at more than PHP1.4486 billion last year, which is PHP184.704 million or 12.42 percent higher than the PHP1.3 billion in 2019.

City treasurer Carlita de Guzman, in an interview on Wednesday, said the improvement in local tax collections was an offshoot of the wider information dissemination campaign in different local radio stations that reminded the public to pay their taxes on time to avoid penalties.

De Guzman said with the apparent impact of the stepped-up tax payment campaign, more businesses paid their dues on a lump-sum basis before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in mid-March last year that limited economic activities due to the imposed lockdowns and community quarantines.

Based on the record, the biggest taxes collected were in the business tax category amounting to more than PHP379.486 million, which was higher than the estimated revenue of PHP240 million, showing an over-collection of more than PHP139.486 million.

In the Real Property Tax (RPT) category, the collection amounted to over PHP85.421 million, also higher than the estimated revenue of PHP58 million or with an over-collection of PHP27.421 million.

The other taxes and revenues that contributed to improved collections were the professional that included the community tax, property transfer tax, 10 percent income tax, tax on peddlers, gravel sand and quarry, delivery trucks and vans, amusement tax, franchise tax and other local collections.

Mayor Noel Rosal, in a separate interview, said his administration would continue the tax collection campaign for the prompt payment of dues by the public, particularly the business owners.

"In fact, the improvement of our tax collection is because of the adoption of the enhanced tax revenue assessment and collection system (ETRACS) and the Geographic Information System (GIS) granted by the Australian government that are designed to modernize and speed-up the revenue assessment and collection systems of Legazpi City," Rosal said. (PNA)