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Creba calls for relief from zonal value, property tax hikes

THE Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations, Inc., (Creba) has petitioned for the suspension of Department Orders that call for the increase in the zonal values of properties nationwide amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Creba said while the government had implemented fiscal measures to jumpstart the country’s economic recovery, the lockdowns had contracted the country’s revenues to an all time low.

The group added that the construction and real estate industries continue to be on a downward growth trend as many buyers, whose livelihood have been severely affected by the pandemic, are defaulting on their property purchases This leaves developers, sellers and banks with no other recourse but to absorb the losses.

Low demand has stunted property prices despite increased inflation, while cost of construction materials constantly rise making it even harder to continue doing business, it added.

Status quo

Creba National Chairman Charlie A. V. Gorayeb called for Dominguez to preserve zonal values of properties across the country at their pre-pandemic levels to reflect the actual valuation of property amidst the pandemic.

He said that this would also enable developers and property owners to keep expenses related to payment of taxes at a reasonable level.

Moreover, Creba renewed its earlier appeal for the freezing of real property taxes (RPT) for a period of at least two years, and that no additional property-related taxes be imposed at both national and local government unit levels.

Per Creba National President Noel Toti M. Cariño, taxes paid by developers comprise the cost of production that are ultimately passed on to home buyers.

He noted that freezing RPT will support the millions of homeless Filipinos and boost their capability to avail of decent housing packages, made more urgent by the global health situation.

“Practically all sectors, during these tough times,  are extending temporary administrative relief which can alleviate some of the pressures on the real estate, housing and construction industries as well as many property buyers who are adversely affected by this pandemic,” Creba said.

“After all, a robust property industry will be vital in our collective efforts to recover from the wide-ranging economic effects of Covid-19,” the two leaders said.

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