Lacson bill sets unified standards, processes for land valuation

The confusion caused by different standards used by different local government units to compute real property taxes may soon be gone, once a bill filed by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is passed into law.

Senate Bill 44, the proposed “Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act,” seeks to draw up uniform standards and methods of real property valuation to help LGUs maximize revenue collections, and in turn promote genuine local autonomy.

“Multiple land valuation systems and methodologies used by at least 23 national government agencies and 1,712 LGUs, including private individuals and institutional appraisers—each using their own systems and measures, (result) in as many conflicting values for the same piece of real property,” Lacson said. 

[Download: Senate Bill 44, Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act]

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Worse, he said some local government units have outdated real property values after failing to revise the Schedule of Market Values “due to political ambivalence and apprehension of political backlash.”

The bill strengthens the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF)’s capability to take the lead in ensuring a rationalized valuation of real properties transcending political boundaries. The BLGF will work with the Bureau of Internal Revenue to develop, adopt, and maintain valuation standards for tax and other purposes.

Both agencies will also provide leadership and policy direction to LGUs on real property valuation and appraisal for taxation and other purposes, and maintain a roster of licensed local government appraisers and assessors. They will develop and maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date electronic database of real property transactions and prices of materials for buildings, machinery, and other structures.

Also, they will conduct a continuing study and research on valuation, and maintain an information based on current global and country trends and developments in real property valuation and appraisal.

Meanwhile, a Real Property Valuation Service will be established within the BLGF to develop and implement policies, plans, programs, and operating standards. It will also provide policy direction and leadership in all aspects of valuation and appraisal and their implementation in the regional offices.

Real Property Database

Also, Lacson’s bill seeks to develop an information database on valuation. The BLGF shall develop and maintain such an electronic database of the sale, exchange, lease, mortgage, donation and other real property transactions in the country.

It includes the cost of construction or renovation of buildings and other structures, and on the prices of machinery. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue or his/her representative shall be allowed access to the database without need of prior approval.

“For this purpose, the BLGF is hereby authorized to require the mandatory submission of necessary documents from the concerned officials or employees of national government offices or instrumentalities, LGUs and the private sector,” the bill said.

Meanwhile, the Register of Deeds will supply assessors with real property transactions data every three months, and copies of all contracts selling, transferring or otherwise converting, leasing, or mortgaging real property every end of the month.

Assessors are to transmit documents to the BLGF on all real property transactions data from the Register of Deeds, and the names of the official issuing the building permit and those of the geodetic engineers within one month after the receipt of such data.

Penalties

Government officials or employees who fail to furnish the necessary data face a fine equivalent to six months’ basic salary, or suspension for up to one year or both.

Assessors who fail to comply with valuation standards developed and adopted, or deliberately conceal deviations from the standards in the valuation and appraisal of real property, face a fine equivalent to one to six months’ salary, or suspension of up to one year, or both.

Failure by assessors to prepare a schedule of market values may net a fine equivalent to one to six months’ salary, or suspension from government service for up to a year.

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