By authority of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Commission, that:
Section 1. The position of provincial assessor is hereby created for each province possessing municipalities organized under the provisions of the Municipal Code. In those provinces organized under the Provincial Government Act, the assessor shall be appointed by the Executive Secretary, upon nomination of the provincial board, and shall have his office in the provincial building. He shall be a resident of the province to which appointed and shall not be subject to the provisions of the Revised Civil Service Act unless his appointment shall so state. He shall receive such salary as the provincial board shall fix with the approval of the Executive Secretary.
In provinces organized under the Special Provincial Government Act, possessing municipalities organized under the provisions of the Municipal Code, the respective provincial treasurers thereof shall be, ex-officio, provincial assessors.
Section 2. Provincial assessors shall be allowed such number of deputies and clerks as shall be fixed by the provincial board with the approval of the Executive Secretary. A deputy assessor shall not be subject to the provisions of the Revised Civil Service Act unless his appointment shall so state, and any person already in the Government service, if appointed to such position, may receive additional compensation therefor, the provisions of Act Numbered One hundred and forty-eight to the contrary notwithstanding.
Section 3. Before entering upon their duties, the provincial assessor or his assistants shall take and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation:
I, _______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will appraise the real property subject to taxation in the Province of _______________, so far as required by law, at its true value in money, and will faithfully discharge all the duties imposed upon me by law. So help me God. (Last four words to be omitted in case of affirmation.)
(Signature of assessor)
Sworn and subscribed to before me this ______ day of ____________, 19__
(Signature of recorder
of Provincial board.)
Such oath, when subscribed, shall be filed with the recorder of the provincial board.
Section 4. It shall be the duty of the provincial assessor, which position is hereby created, when directed by the provincial board, to revise and correct the assessment and valuations of real property for the purposes of taxation; and, subject to the limitations of, and in the manner set forth in, this Act, he shall have power, when so directed, to revise and correct any and all assessments and valuations for taxation, and make a correct and just assessment and state the true value of the real property, and such assessment and valuation made by him shall be as lawful and valid for all purposes as the original assessment.
Section 5. If the provincial assessor shall find real property within the municipality subject to taxation, the owner or owners of which can not be discovered, or are unknown, or who, being known, fail to declare it, it shall be his duty to list and declare the same in the name of the owner or owners, or as against an unknown owner, if unknown, and to assess the value thereof for the purpose of taxation. He shall also assess the value of all real property heretofore undeclared, the declarations for which are filed by the owners thereof.
Section 6. Each owner whose property is assessed or valued in an amount in excess of that declared by him shall be immediately notified in writing of such increase by the provincial assessor, and should he feel aggrieved by the action of the said assessor, he shall have the right of appeal to the municipal council, which shall within thirty days from the receipt thereof take action, on same, and if the assessor does not agree with said action, shall forward all papers to the provincial board, whose decision shall be final, except as provided in section ten thereof.
Written notice shall also be given to the owner or owners, if known, of the valuation placed on property newly declared, and such owner or owners also have the right of appeal to the municipal council, in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as provided in the first paragraph of this section. The decision of the provincial board shall likewise be final, except as provided in section ten thereof.
Section 7. The provincial assessor is also authorized:
(a) In case more than one declaration has been made of the same property, to cancel all declarations except the one properly made: Provided, That if any declarant shall object to the cancellation of his declaration, such declaration shall not be canceled but shall have the fact noted thereon and similar notation shall be made on the duplicate declaration.
(b) In the case of property which has changed ownership, to cancel the declaration of the original owner, and substitute therefor the new declaration in the name of the new owner: Provided, That no change shall be made except upon the written consent of both parties concerned or their legal representatives.
(c) To eliminate from the list of taxable property all property which, being exempt, has been unduly included in the same.
(d) To assess and value all utilizable improvements made upon the property during the preceding year, but the owner may make use of the right of appeal, mentioned in section six.
(e) To reduce the assessment against any taxpayer whose improvements already assessed have been destroyed during the preceding year.
(f) To declare, or have declared, and to assess the value of all real property which has not theretofore been declared, in accordance with section five.
(g) To reduce the value of any real property already assessed which shall have suffered a permanent loss of value by reason of storm, flood, or other casualty during the preceding year.
Section 8. For the purpose of securing information upon which to base a correct assessment, the provincial assessor is hereby authorized and empowered to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths to them, and examine them concerning the ownership, amount, and value of real property, and to enforce the attendance or evidence of recalcitrant or absent witnesses in the manner in which a provincial fiscal may do so under section two of Act Numbered Three hundred and two: Provided, That no subpoena shall be issued compelling the appearance of any witness outside of the municipality in which he is residing.
Section 9. Prior to directing the provincial assessor in accordance with the provisions hereof, to proceed to revise and correct assessments and valuations of real property, the provincial board of each province possessing municipalities organized under the provisions of the Municipal Code shall require each municipal council to prepare in such form and detail as the Executive Secretary may prescribe a general schedule of the values of the different classes of land for its municipality, which shall be forwarded to the provincial board for approval, and such schedule, when approved by the provincial board, shall serve the assessor as basis for the valuation and assessment. Should the provincial board disapprove said schedule because it does not find it impartial, just, and equitable with respect to the other municipalities of the province, it shall return the same to the municipal council with its amendments, and if such amendments are not accepted by the municipal council, the latter shall forward them, with its arguments, in appeal to the Executive Secretary, within thirty days after receipt thereof; If said term shall lapse without an appeal having been made, the schedule as amended by the provincial board shall govern. The decision of the Executive Secretary shall be final.
Section 10. The provincial board of each province, in which an assessment or revision of an assessment is made under the provisions of this Act, shall have power to review, in its discretion, all assessments and reassessments of the provincial assessor, and to amend the same in case it does not find them in accordance with the schedules fixed for each municipality, and such assessments, when so amended, shall be the true and lawful assessments upon which taxes shall be collected: Provided, That the Executive Secretary, in case of appeals by any municipality or proprietor, shall have the power to revise said assessment and modify and correct all defects with regard to fairness found therein, and his decision in such case shall be final.
Section 11. When the assessment or general review of assessment herein provided for has been completed in any municipality, the provincial assessor shall so certify to the provincial board, and taxes shall be due and payable under the new assessment, or revision of assessment, commencing with the year next following the one in which such assessment or revision was made.
Section 12. Real property declared for the first time shall have taxes assessed against it from and including the year in which, under the provisions of then existing law, the same would have been subject to taxation: Provided, That such taxes shall not be collected for more than the four preceding years, and such property shall be exempt from any penalty for delinquency if said taxes are paid within the tax collection period for the year next following the assessment hereunder, but if not paid within that time it shall be subject to all the penalties for delinquency to which it would have been subject.
Section 13. It shall be the duty of the municipal president, secretary and treasurer and all municipal employees to render every assistance in their power to the provincial assessor.
Section 14. The word “taxation” as used in this Act shall be construed to mean the ad valorem tax on lands, buildings, and improvements mentioned in section forty-three (a) of the Municipal Code, as amended, and in section thirteen (i) of the Provincial Government Act, as amended.
Section 15. The Executive Secretary shall prescribe the form and procedure to be followed in carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.
Section 16. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to repeal the provisions of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and ninety-seven.
Section 17. The duties in said Act prescribed for provincial boards of tax appeals shall hereafter be performed by provincial boards and may be performed at any time.
Section 18. All Acts or parts of Acts in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
Section 19. This Act shall take effect on its passage.