MANILA - The Makati City government is set to sell properties of delinquent taxpayers after delinquencies in real property and special education taxes reached P5.505 billion, according to the latest audit report on the city by the Commission on Audit.
State auditors noted that from 2009 to 2018, unpaid taxes ranged from P400 to P800 million per year with the highest amount registered in 2018 at P819.993 million.
“Despite accumulation of property tax delinquencies as shown in the above data, the city failed to forcefully/aggressively enforce collection remedies provided by law, particularly the power to sell at public auction property of taxpayers who are delinquent,” the COA report said.
Auditors noted that the sale of properties is one of the remedies against delinquent taxpayers as provided for in Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code.
“Auctioning off properties have a strong positive impact on tax collection because the threat of losing the property would force taxpayers to settle their delinquencies. Had the city exercised its power to auction delinquent properties as allowed by the law, the accumulation of tax delinquencies could have been precluded,” the COA report said.
A copy of the report was received by the office of Mayor Abigail Binay on June 27, 2019.
The city treasury told the audit team that threat of public auction was effective but they also had to be careful to avoid legal issues.
“Nonetheless, the city treasury informed that they already programmed the conduct of public auction after the election period,” the COA report said.
The full audit report on the Makati City government can be downloaded from the COA website.