Is a government establishment (oh, say, an International Airport) obliged by law to pay property taxes to the municipality upon whose borders it sits?
The City of Parañaque seems to think so, and is even ready to forcibly close down the airport’s runways and auction off airport property to get their hands on those taxes.
The truly laughable thing about all this comes up in this quote from Parañaque Public Info Officer Mar Jimenez: “This is part of our campaign to raise funds with a minimum target of P1 billion to finance various infrastructure projects of the city government. They (NAIA) cannot blame us because we are doing this for our constituents.” He’s saying, in effect, “We’re doing this because we need to money for our city projects.” Not because the law requires payment of those taxes or because the airport has been delinquent in paying (if indeed those taxes are lawful), but because they need the money.
Well, aye aye, sir! Never mind ironing out the legality of this economic farce; what’s important is that this virtual extortion from the airport is going to fund city projects for the good of your constituents! Can’t argue against that with a niggling little thing like lawfulness or constitutionality, can we? I suppose dubious ends do justify dubious means after all, right?
I sure hope Richard Gordon can talk some sense into these people. I think this situation calls for his trademark ruthlesness.
(By the way, I live in Parañaque City, and under Chronic Mayor Joey “Alma” Marquez, it’s a complete dump. Garbage problems, air pollution, towing syndicates, squatter colonies, corruption, crime, and heavy traffic. Terrible. The real reason for this property tax row are pretty clear, and I don’t think altruistic motives come into it.)