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Motels operators face paying more taxes if legislators approve a bill which would charge a tax based on the number of rooms; the more rooms, the bigger the tax bite.

The bill was presented on February 27 by Partido Liberacion Nacional (PL) legislator, Annie Saborio.

Currently motels pay a flat 30% tax on the use of a room. The tax money is destined for the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social (IMAS) – Institute for Social Assistance. But, the legislator says there is not way of verifying if the declaration of use by operators is correct and believes it is low to avoid paying more tax.

With the new bill, the motel operator will have to pay a daily use tax – a percentage calculated on the base salary of a clerk, based on the number of rooms.

The current base salary is ¢362.000 colones and motel with up to 20 rooms would pay a 9% tax; 21 – 50 rooms, 10%; 51- 100 rooms, 11% tax; and more than 101 rooms, a 12% tax.

The bill is accompanied by another bill, also presented by Saborio, which would see the placement of a device to record the entrances to the garage of the rooms.

Both bills need to be discussed with the Comisión de Asuntos Sociales before it can be presented to the full Legislative floor.