QCOSTARICA – “We are reluctant to approve any tax right now, because we feel that the government has no moral authority to ask Costa Ricans for more, especially after a wasteful budget,” were the words of PUSC legislator Johnny Leiva on President Luis Guillermo Solis’ bid to revive the ‘corporations tax’.
The government argues the revenue from the a new corporations tax would fill the financial hole left with the decision by the Constitutional Court last January, eliminating the tax established by the previous government.
Although the Court struck down the 2010 law, it did allow the government to collect for the 2015 calendar year, meaning no corporations tax starting in 2016.
The Ministry of Finance says that for this year it was able to collect ¢30 billion colones, so that the cancellation of the tax will leave a large gap in public finances.
The corporations tax required all active corporations to pay an annual tax equivalent to US$300 dollars; inactive corporations would be required to pay half.
Although the PUSC party is against any new tax, other political parties like the Movimiento Libertario, Frente Amplio and the PAC are willing to discuss the initiative.
For their part, according to legislator Antonio Alvarez, the Liberacion Nacional party (PLN) – whose government brought introduced the corporations tax – is waiting on the new text that defines, among other things, the amount of the tax, before it would decide.