Wednesday 22 March 2023

President Solis Demands Defaulting Ministers Pay Marchamo Arrears

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Planning minister Olga Marta Sánchez says she sold the vehicle and the new owner has not transferred title.
Inthe case of Planning minister Olga Marta Sánchez, she says she sold the vehicle and the new owner has not transferred title.

QCOSTARICA – Calling on his cabinet ministers to lead by example, President Luis Guillermo Solis, has demanded those in areas of the marchamo to pay up as soon as possible.

The presidential directive came after the online publication La Prensa Libre, published that five ministers owed, collectively, ¢2.3 million colones (about US$4.400 dollars) in arrears.

According to the publication, the ministers are Alexander Mora (Foreign Trade); Victor Morales (Labour); Alejandra Mora (Condition of Women); Mauricio Herrera (Communications); and Olga Mera Sanchez (Planning).

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In its report, La Nacion said it tried to contact the ministers, connecting only with three: Herrera and Sanchez, who said they would be paying up asap, and Alejandra Mora, who said she had sold the car and the vehicle’s registration has not been passed on to the new owner, who is responsible for paying.

In Costa Rica when a vehicle is sold, the onus is on the buyer to transfer the vehicle in their name and unless agreed upon differently, is responsible for paying the transfer tax. Many buyers do not pay transfer the vehicle.

Another source of arrears in the marchamo is the failure of a vehicle owner to de-register a vehicle that is no longer in use, not wanting to incur the legal cost and time consuming process. Although the vehicle is no longer in use, unless it is removed from the property registry, the registered owner (not necessarily the property holder) is responsible for the accruing marchamo, that includes fines and interest on the outstanding balance.

The marchamo is annual vehicular circulation permit that includes third party insurance and property tax, among other items, due payable by December 31 of the year.

For the 2016 marchamo there is controversy over the Ministry of Finance value of vehicles (for tax purposes), allegations that is illegal given that the values were not published as prescribed by law and several constitutional court challengers. Legislator for the Movimiento Libertario party, Otto Guevara, is calling on people not to pay the marchamo.

Source: La Nacion

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