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Fels Energy, Inc. v. The Province of Batangas and the Office of the Provincial Assessor of Batangas, G.R. No. 168557, 16 February 2007

24 Nov

[CALLEJO, SR., J.]

FACTS

NPC entered into a lease contract with Polar Energy, Inc. (POLAR) over diesel engine power barges moored at Balayan Bay in Calaca, Batangas. The contract contained a provision that POLAR may be or become subject to real estate taxes and assessments, rates and other charges in respect of the power barges.Subsequently, POLAR assigned its rights under the Agreement to Fels Energy, Inc. (FELS). Later, FELS received an assessment of real property taxes on the power barges from Provincial Assessor, that the owner or person having legal interest may appeal the matter within 60 days from receipt to the Board of Assessment Appeals of the province.  FELS referred the matter to NPC, which sought reconsideration of the Provincial Assessor’s decision to assess real property taxes on the power barges. However, the motion was denied and the Provincial Assessor advised NPC to pay the assessment. After sixty (60) days from receipt of assessment from, the NPC filed a petition with the Local Board of Assessment Appeals (LBAA) for the setting aside of the assessment and the declaration of the barges as non-taxable items; it also prayed that should LBAA find the barges to be taxable, the Provincial Assessor be directed to make the necessary corrections.

ISSUE

WhetherNPC’s appeal to LBAA may prosper considering that the timely filing of MR with the Provincial Assessor tolled the running of reglementay period.

HELD

NO.

Section 226 of R.A. No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, provides:“SECTION 226. Local Board of Assessment Appeals. – Any owner or person having legal interest in the property who is not satisfied with the action of the provincial, city or municipal assessor in the assessment of his property may, within sixty (60) days from the date of receipt of the written notice of assessment, appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals of the province or city by filing a petition under oath in the form prescribed for the purpose, together with copies of the tax declarations and such affidavits or documents submitted in support of the appeal.” Instead of appealing to the Board of Assessment Appeals (as stated in the notice), NPC opted to file a motion for reconsideration of the Provincial Assessor’s decision, a remedy not sanctioned by law.

[Citing] the case of Callanta v. Office of the Ombudsman, where [the Supreme Court] ruled that under Section 226 of R.A. No 7160, the last action of the local assessor on a particular assessment shall be the notice of assessment; it is this last action which gives the owner of the property the right to appeal to the LBAA. The procedure likewise does not permit the property owner the remedy of filing a motion for reconsideration before the local assessor. It follows ineluctably that the 60-day period for making the appeal to the LBAA runs without interruption.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2015 in Case Digests, Taxation Law

 

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