University files case vs Dagupan gov't, mayor, et al

June 10, 2011 10:45 pm 

DAGUPAN CITY, June 10 – One of the universities here has filed a civil case for injunction and declaration of nullity of business tax assessment before the Regional Trial Court against the city government.

The case was filed by the University of Luzon (UL) represented by its president, Mac Arthur Samson. The other defendants are Mayor Benjamin Lim, City Administrator Vladimir Mata and City Treasurer Romelita Alcantara.

UL was one of several private schools that was sent business tax assessment this year by the defendants.

Samson earlier maintained that private schools, because of their very mission of educating children, are exempt from paying business taxes.

In its petition, UL asked the court to declare the imposition, assessment and billing of business tax on the petitioner by respondent Dagupan City government in the amount of less than P1 million void ab initio (void from the beginning).

Moreover, the university asked the court to restrain the respondents from imposing, assessing and collecting business tax from the petitioner and directing all respondents to write off all prior impositions, assessment and billing on business taxes on the petitioner.

UL contends that under the Local Government Code of 1991, nowhere among those enumerated to be taxed are private schools.

The same is true with the Local Revenue Code (City Ordinance No. 1855), particularly Section 109, which also did not enumerate that private schools are among those subject for taxation.

In filing the civil case, UL cited the Latin maxim “expresso unis est exclusion alterius” which was adopted in a decision of the Supreme Court which says: “Where a statue, by its term, is expressly limited to certain matters, it may not, by interpretation be extended to others.”

The university also maintained that statutes levying taxes or duties are to be construed strongly against the government and in favor of the subject or citizen, because burdens are not imposed beyond what statutes expressly and clearly declare.

The defendants were given within 15 days after the service of summons to answer the complaint. (PNA)

LAP/lvm/lvmicua/1830/rma

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