Monday, February 18, 2008

Abolishing amusement tax not a smart move

The Cebu CIty government would forego around P50 million a year if it eliminates the collection of amusement taxes, Councilor Jose Daluz III said.

He discouraged scrapping the 30 percent amusement tax, which is the city’s third biggest source of income.

Daluz gave his comment on the pending proposal of Councilor Hilario Davide III to amend the Omnibus Tax Ordinance and scrap the collection of 30 percent of the gross admission fees from places of amusement like cinemas, concert halls, boxing stadiums and entertainment activities.

Daluz, head of the committee on budget and finance of the city council, said the city could just continue its practice of granting discounts to event organizers on a case to case basis.

Exemptions are granted subject to the approval of the City Council provided the event organizer donates P10,000 to a charitable institution, foundation or non-government organizations duly recognized by the city government, he said.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña in an earlier interview was inclined to abolish amusement taxes to encourage producers to organize concerts and other entertainment activities here.

Osmeña said the city government could make up from the lost revenue by improving their collection on real estate property and business taxes and other charges collected from the delivery of government services.

Daluz, however, said the Local Government Code empowers local government units to collect taxes, a mandate that it should exercise.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama told the council on Wednesday that abolishing the collection of amusement taxes may be beyond the power of the council. Reporter Doris C. Bongcac - Cebu Daily News

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