By Jel Santos
A total of P1.73 billion delinquent real properties will be auctioned off to the public soon, the local government of Makati City announced Saturday.
Lawyer Michael Camiña, Makati City legal officer, said they are still finalizing the exact date of the auction.
The city, Camiña said, has a total of P5.50 billion in tax delinquency, but only delinquent properties “without restrictions” – tax delinquency of P1.73 billion to date – will be put up for auction.
Camiña said delinquent properties in the city “with restrictions,” – with tax delinquency amounting to P3.76 billion – cannot be auctioned off because of various impediments, such as legal disputes, government properties, and street lots. These include the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) with around P2 billion in outstanding tax obligation to the city. A case is still pending in court.
He reminded all concerned property owners to immediately settle their dues or lose their property altogether.
“We are calling on all property owners with delinquent real property tax payments to immediately settle your outstanding obligations with the city. We are definitely going to auction off properties that remain delinquent despite several notices to the owners, including public notices in the newspapers,” Camiña said in a statement.
He also told people who have bought properties in Makati to immediately register the transfer of ownership and update their tax declaration with the Assessment Department (Assessor’s Office) on the 2nd floor of Makati City Hall.
“The Treasurer’s Office has encountered a number of cases where billing notices remain undelivered as the owner cannot be located in the address on record. It may be because the property already has a new owner, and yet our official city records still reflect the name and address of the previous owner,” said Camiña.
“It is the responsibility of the new owner of a real property to update official records with City Hall and pay the correct amount of the tax due based on the assessed value of the property,” he added.
Camiña said the local government of Makati has no other option, but to auction off the properties before the year ends.
“We have waited long enough, and to postpone the auction any longer would be a disservice to the people of Makati, who stand to benefit from the substantial amount of additional revenue to be generated.”
Realty Tax Division records showed that the city published notices for 2, 288 delinquent taxpayers in newspapers since 2018.
In a 2018 audit report of the Commission on Audit, it stated that a total of P5.505 billion in real property taxes has remained uncollected, of which P3.766 billion is pending litigation.