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Costa Rican Lawmakers Approve New Property Tax

by Leroy Baker, Tax-News.com, New York

17 November 2008


Legislative approval has been given to a new property tax scheme in Costa Rica, which will see houses over a certain value subject to greater tax burdens.

Under the current property tax regime, all houses within the country over the value of USD18,600 are required to pay an annual 0.25% levy. However, in a bid to generate extra revenue, the government has decided to impose a higher rate on properties with a value of USD200,000 or more.

When the new scheme commences in January of next year, nearly 7,000 Costa Rican properties will be subject to the new tax rates, which will stand somewhere between 0.25% and 0.55%, depending upon the value of the property in question.

The aim of the property tax reform is to try and raise around USD17.6m, which will then be ploughed back into the country's deprived neighbourhoods in an attempt to improve the living conditions of low-income households and possibly even eliminate Cost Rica's shantytowns altogether.

Under the new regime (which has not yet been signed into law by the country's President, Oscar Arias), individuals will be required to pay the new tax within the first 15 days of the year.


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