Parañaque reaps from casino tax windfall

From Manila Bulletin:
July 8, 2016

The opening of two multi-billion casino resort in Pagcor-Entertainment City has tremendously contributed the biggest chunk to the local government’s revenue collection, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivares disclosed.

In his 4th State-of-City address, Olivarez reported that Belle Corp., developer of the City of Dreams and Solaire Resort and Casino of port mogul Enrique Razon, has paid a real property tax amounting to P191 million in 2015.

City of Dreams, soft-opened in December, 2014 and had a grand launch February last year, paid P135.9 million while Bloomberry, developer of Solaire, which gained an auspicious headstart over other private gaming operators in the Entertainment City, paid P55 million in real property tax last year, respectively.

City of Dreams covers about two hectares of gaming space, more than 900 hotel rooms operated under three hotel brands (namely Crown, Hyatt and Nobu), the DreamPlay indoor amusement park and approximately two hectares of restaurant and retail space.

Other top business taxpayers were the D.M. Wenceslao and Associates Inc. (DMWAI), project developer of Entertainment City; and the Manila Bay Development Corp. (MBDC), a construction consultancy and management firm.

DMWAI contributed P46.6 million to the city coffers in 2015, while MBDC added P34.9 million in real tax payment.

The leisure and entertainment enclave is situated along Manila Bay within the jurisdiction of Parañaque’s Barangay Don Galo, which is expected to become the richest income earner among the city’s 16 barangay in the two years.

Olivarez said it was the third year in a row that the city broke the P1 billion mark in business tax collection, the highest in terms of value and annual percentage increase.

The reelected mayor claimed that the increasing number of businesses in Parañaque reflected investor confidence in the city, which was adjudged the country’s most competitive city in terms of economic dynamism for two consecutive years.

In his address, Olivarez reported that registered or renewed their licenses in 2014 totaled 19,477 which was an increase of 14 percent in previous year. In 2015, he said, a total 20, 679 registered business permits.

In the first six months of this year, a big majority or 19,547 businesses were registered at the local business permits and licensing office and expected to increase by 21 percent until last quarter, according to the mayor.

“This is a clear affirmation of the soundness of our policy. We don’t need new taxes in Parañaque,” Olivarez said.

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