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Moreno vetoes tax deadline extension

By NITZ ARANCON
Correspondent

MAYOR Oscar Moreno has vetoed a city ordinance that extended the deadline for the renewal of business permits for the second time even as he called the measure “null and void,” and its passage as beyond the legal powers of the city council.

Moreno signed the veto message two Fridays ago but Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas received an official copy of the document only on Thursday.

City Ordinance 13033-2016 extended for the second time the renewal of business permits from Feb. 1 to March 31.

But in his three-page veto message, Moreno said the city council’s act of approving Ordinance 13033-2016 was ultra vires or something beyond the authority of the city’s legislature.

“Extending the filing of business license renewal application to March 31, 2016 is clearly an untra vires act on the part of the city council. Thus, it is null and void, and cannot be given any effect,” reads part of Moreno’s veto message. “There is no justifiable reason or cause to extend further the deadline for the filing of business license renewal applications.”

He called the passage of the ordinance “illegal,” and “prejudicial” to public welfare.

Early this month, the city council approved the extension without a request or endorsement from Moreno or city treasurer Glenn Bañez.

In Jan. 18, the city council approved City Ordinance 1309-2016 that had extended the deadline from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31 due to questions and concerns raised by organized business groups in the city.

Those who voted in favor of the second extension were councilors  Enrico Salcedo, Roger Abaday, Teodulfo Lao Jr., Lourdes Darimbang, Edna Dahino, Dante Pajo, Ramon Tabor, Leon Gan, President Elipe, Yam Lam Lim, Annie Daba, Adrian Barba, Demetilo Acenas, and Alexander Dacer. Three councilors–Zaldy Ocon, Alden Bacal, and Nadya  Elipe–were absent the day it was approved.

Moreno said he could no longer allow a second extension, saying that city hall would be violating a law if it did.

“Our Supreme Court has already held that taxes are the lifeblood of the government, and should be collected   without unnecessary hindrance. The power of taxation is essential because the government can neither exist nor endure without taxation,” he said.

Moreno said he expected the city council to override his veto but “I wish to remind the members of the city council about the settled principle that an illegal act is void and cannot be validated.”

He added that the city council “may wish to override my veto but the fact remains that Ordinance no. 13033-2016 is void from the very beginning, and thus, produces no legal effect.”

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About Nitz Arancon

Nitz Arancon
Nitz Arancon started his career in the broadcast media. He worked as a cameraman for a news program of a local TV station, and subsequently became a reporter and later, commentator of the now defunct radio station DxJR.

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