(Metro News) Makati extends tax amnesty for West Tower residents up to Dec. 31

December 9, 2011 11:37 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 9 — The city government of Makati has extended the amnesty period in the payment of business and real estate taxes by residents of West Tower Condominium, who were affected by the July 2010 gas pipe leak, until Dec. 31, 2011.

Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay said the extension has been granted under City Ordinance No. 2011-047 to allow West Tower residents and business owners to pay their 2011 tax dues without penalty until Dec. 31.

The new ordinance amends Ordinance No. 2011-005, which previously set the amnesty period within the first quarter of 2011.

“Extending the period of the tax amnesty is aimed to ease the burden of West Tower residents and merchants until complete restoration is in place and they could safely return to their condo units,” Binay said.

The tax relief stemmed from the recommendation of Mayor Binay following the evacuation of condo residents and tenants in October last year to give way to the draining operations at the building basement where the pipeline leak was uncovered.

Binay, however, said that under the ordinance, concerned taxpayers need to submit a written request for amnesty to the City Treasurer who shall assess and rule on its approval after verification with the Barangay Inventory or Master List.

Binay, also said that the discounts granted for payments on 2012 tax dues made before the Jan. 20, 2012 deadline shall also be applied to West Tower residents.

Realty Tax Division chief Lina Estrella Enriquez said the passage of the amended ordinance waived the penalty of two percent monthly compounded interest on late payments of real estate taxes under existing laws.

Enriquez said the amnesty covered only realty tax due for the year 2011 and does not include the period prior to the gas leak, which occurred in July 2010.

Records of the Realty Tax Division show that some 58 registered West Tower property owners have sought tax reprieve, while only about four commercial or business establishments are located in the building.

Meanwhile, Binay said the city government constantly monitors the rehabilitation works being conducted by West Tower and First Philippine Industrial Corp., which owns the gas pipeline, to ensure that they meet their timetable in clearing the area of leaks and all possible contaminants emanating from the channel. (PNA)



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