DAVAO CITY – Taxation can be a problematic word, especially during an election season, but among watershed advocates in Davao City, taxes, or more specifically Green Taxes are just being par for the course when one lives in a city whose mantra is “Life is Here”.
2016 could be the year of the watershed environmental tax, as the city amps up its collection from the agri-businesses operating in the Talomo-Lipadas and Panigan-Tamugan watersheds. Last year, when the envi tax was first implemented, only a handful of businesses complied, under protest. In fact, a case was filed in the courts to contest the tax implementation. Complainants argued that the local government does not have the right to impose an environmental tax since they are already paying property taxes and business permits. They contend that this is a case of double taxation, which is prohibited under the law.
But according to the watershed advocacy group Interface Development Interventions (IDIS), the environmental tax imposed by the city’s Watershed Code is within the authority and power conferred to it by the Constitution and the Local Government Code.