ABOUT THE JMC
The existence of idle lands and the failure of local government units (LGUs) to update their schedule of market values (SMVs) for property assessments are two of the major impediments toward maximizing the socio-economic benefits that can be gained from the country´s land and real property sector.
LGUs´ outdated real property values (caused by LGUs´ failure to regularly revise their SMVs) no longer capture the true economic realities in the community where the property is situated, which has significant backlash on local revenue generation, which means the foregone revenues that could have been collected from real property taxes. On the other hand, keeping lands unproductive and unimproved for unreasonable period of time breeds inefficient allocation of lands to their best use, encourages land speculation and concentration of land ownership, and undermines the generation of significant revenues from land ownership.
Despite the provisions of the law, specifically Republic Act 7160 or The Local Government Code of 1991, data shows that LGU compliance in SMV revision has been rapidly declining from 83 percent in 1993 to 25 percent in 2006 (i.e., average compliance rate of both provinces and cities). Meanwhile, out of the country´s 80 provinces and 121 cities, only five provinces and nine cities are imposing idle land tax.
As such, the Department of Finance and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DOF-DILG) issued Joint Memorandum Circular 2010-01 and Joint Memorandum Circular 2010-02 which enjoin LGUs to comply with the provisions of the LGC regarding the regular revision of SMVs for property assessments and also impose a special levy on idle lands.
The two Joint Memorandum Circulars were signed by DOF Sec. Cesar V. Purisima and DILG Sec. Jesse M. Robredo on October 18, 2010.
JMC 2010-01 enjoins LGUs to implement Section 219 (General Revision of Assessment and Property Classification) of the R.A. 7160 regarding the revision of property assessments and classifications. The JMC also prescribes the use of the Philippine Valuation Standards (DOF Dept. Order No. 37-09) and Mass Appraisal Guidebook (DOF Dept. Order No. 2010-10) in conducting the general revision of property assessments and classifications.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Governors and Mayors
- The Local Assessors (Provincial/City and Municipal)
- The Sanggunian
- The DOF-BLGF and the DILG
Governors and Mayors are directed to require their respective assessors to prepare an updated SMV and to draft the corresponding ordinance for the Sanggunian´s approval.
Prior to preparing an updated SMV, local assessors must require all property owners to submit their Sworn Statements which declares the true value of their property/ies. Thereafter, the local assessor will gather and analyze the collected data, calculate base unit values, then prepare the preliminary SMV that will be the basis of the General Revision of Real Property Assessments. In the case of the provincial assessor, the preliminary SMV will be prepared in coordination with the municipal assessors.
The local assessor will then submit the same preliminary SMV to the Sanggunian for the Sanggunian´s approval (through an Ordinance). After the Sanggunian approves the prepared updated SMV, the local assessor will conduct the General Revision of Property Assessments for real tax purposes.
All presiding officers/members of the Sanggunian are tasked to appropriate funds to enable the local assessor to conduct the General Revision of Real Property Assessments every three years. Likewise, the Sanggunian is mandated to calendar, deliberate on and pass the ordinance incorporating the proposed updated SMV prepared by the local assessor.
The DOF-BLGF (Central and Regional Offices) is tasked to supervise the implementation of the JMC, provide technical assistance in the preparation of SMVs, and initiate activities at the local level to fast track the LGU´s updating of SMVs.
On the other hand, the DILG Regional Directors will coordinate with the LGUs, through the respective field officers assigned at the various levels of LGUs, in apprising the local officials with regard to preparing the updated SMV.
JMC 2010-02, on the other hand, enjoins LGUs to implement the provisions of Section 236(Additional Ad Valorem Tax on Idle Lands) of the LGC and impose special levy on real properties, especially idle land taxes.
- Agricultural lands that are more than one (1) hectare, suitable for cultivation, dairying, inland fishery and other agricultural uses, one half of which remains uncultivated or unimproved,
- Non-agricultural lands in a city or municipality with area more than 1,000 square meters, one half of which is unutilized or unimproved, and
- Residential lots in subdivisions, regardless of land area, one half of which is unutilized and unimproved.
- Proceeds of the Tax on Idle Lands
- Exemption from Idle Land Tax
- Enactment of the Enabling Ordinance or Revenue Measure
- Sec. 187 provides the procedure in approving and effecting the local tax ordinance and revenue measures through mandatory public hearings.
- Sec. 188 prescribes that ten (10) days after the local tax ordinance and revenue measure has been approved, the certified true copies of the same tax ordinance and revenue measure must be published in a newspaper of local circulation for three (3) consecutive days.
- Sec. 189 mandates that the same copy of tax ordinance and revenue measure must be furnished to the local treasurer, who will disseminate the circular to the public.
- Duties and Responsibilities
Section 237 (Idle Lands, Coverage)of the LGC defines idle lands as follows:
Proceeds from the collection of idle land tax directly goes to the respective general funds of the province/city. In the case of a municipality within Metro Manila, the proceeds accrue equally to the Metropolitan Manila Authority and the municipality where the land is situated.
Owners of idle lands will be exempted from imposition of the additional levy under circumstances of force majeure, civil disturbance, natural calamity, or any circumstance which physically or legally prevent the property owners from improving, utilizing or cultivating the idle land.
The local Sanggunian must first approve the implementation of the additional revenue measure through an ordinance, in accordance to the provisions of the LGC, specifically:
The DOF-BLGF is tasked to receive and validate the LGUs´ reports on the proceeds due to the imposition of additional ad valorem tax on idle lands, and provide the necessary technical assistance to LGUs.
The DILG is tasked to disseminate the Circular to all LGUs and accordingly monitor LGUs´ compliance with the Circular.
The DOF-DILG Task Force was created in January 2011 through BLGF Office Order No. 08-2011 and DILG Order No. 2011-461, establishing a committee with members from the DOF-BLGF and the DILG-BLGD. The Task Force is headed by the BLGF Executive Director and BLGD Director.
The task force´s overall approach is to enjoin LGUs to support and adopt the reforms, and for the DOF and DILG to provide the commensurate technical support and perform monitoring functions.