During the encomienda system of the Spanish Era, there was no Real Property Tax in the Philippines. Taxes on land were levied primarily on male tenant of 16-60 years old as personal taxes or tributes rather than the real land taxes. They were paid generally in the form of agricultural products for the privilege to work on the land of the encomiendas.
It was in 1901, during the American regime that the real property taxation in the Philippines was formally instituted. In 1901, Act Nos. 82 & 83 of the Philippine Commission organized the municipal and provincial governments, respectively. These laws authorized the municipality and province to levy taxes on real property These taxes became the source of locally-generated revenues. Likewise, Provincial and Municipal Board of Assessors were created under the same law in each province and municipality. The Municipal Board was charged with the assessing of real properties for taxation purposes while the Provincial Board was authorized to levy an annual tax on the real property assessed value. The said Act also charged the Provincial Treasurer of the supervision of the real property assessment and tax collection.
Other laws affecting assessment and taxation of real property were enacted and were later compiled and incorporated in the Administrative Code of 1916 under the Jones Law.
On December 5, 1932, Act. No. 3995 “An Act Revising and Compiling the Assessment Laws” was passed, which is in effect repealed, compiled and incorporated into a single Body all existing laws relating to the assessment and collection of real property taxes.
Then in July 1939, the National Assembly passed Commonwealth Act No. 470 repealing Act. No. 3995. CA No. 470 continued as the Assessment Law from 1940 until the birth of the new society in 1972 when His Excellency, President Ferdinand E. Marcos initiated reforms in real property tax administration under Presidential Decree (PD) Nos. 25 and 76.
On May 20, 1974, PD No. 464 entitled “The Real Property Tax Code” was promulgated as the law governing the Real Property Tax Administration in the Philippines. The said law was designed to upgrade the assessment techniques, procedures and practices in the country.
As provided under Section 8 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, dated February 10, 0983, the Real Property Tax Code (PD 464) was recognized under the Local Government Code of 1983. Accordingly, PD 464, as amended, continued to be the governing laws relative to the appraisal and assessment of real property for taxation purposes.
1/ BLGF Local Assessment Manual