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Guanacaste, Costa Rica by Joseph Emanuelli

Real information and stories from Guanacaste , Costa Rica. Presneted by a long time expat living and working in Costa Rica
Costa Rica Beach Front Property Getting a Tax Break

Expats and Costa Ricans alike that have a concession property in the maritime zone (this is the area of beach front land starting from the 50 meter, or 54.68 yards, median high tide mark going inland 200 meters or 218.7 yards) may be getting a tax break. This type of property usually cannot be titled ad that is a whole other topic. The local municipalities which control the maritime zone have raised the fees on these properties over the past few years. There have been many complaints over this.  Many of these of these people got their concessions years ago and constructed homes on the land. By law the maritime zone belongs to the state.  Only the municipalities and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (the Costa Rica Tourism Institution) are allowed to issue concessions. The real problem came when the municipal tax collectors, Oh boy that is almost a dirty word, raised the price of the annual cánon or rental fee and some of them were down right ridiculous. The tax collectors based the fee increase on the fees that major hotels were paying to legally take over or purchase someone’s concession.

President Laura Chinchilla along with other governmental officials issued a decree placing a limit on what the canon, or rental fee can be. The decree was published on July 24, 2013 in the official La Gazetta newspaper. The 1977 Zona Marítimo Terrestre or the Maritime Terrestrial Zone law prohibits most construction within the first 50 meters above mean high tide.

The canon fee for individual homeowners is now limited to a maximum of 3% percent of the registered value of the holding, this includes the land and any construction that is on the property. Hotels and other recreational facilities can see the canon fee as high as 4%. Of course, municipal tax collectors, oh there’s those dirty words again, are not required to charge the maximum amount, so a concession holder can actually appeal their rate to the various municipal councils. But let’s face facts! How many tax collectors are really going to lower the amount that needs to be paid, but it is worth the shot at least. A good thing about this decree is that, low-income residents who live in a permanent home in the maritime zone can only be taxed at one quarter of a percent. The decree stated that the fees were being capped based on the principal of equality and proportionality.

So if you have a concession property I would consider contacting your legal representative here in Costa Rica to see what the process would entail to get your canon fee lowered or at least at the property percentage mandated by the decree.

As always, thanks to my steady followers for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoy some of my rants, craziness and even some good information, if you want to make a comment just send me an email to jaaechef@gmail.com  my personal email address or post it here. If you have an interest in or are just curious about Costa Rica and want to learn more and why so many people are talking about it, click this link to my new web page and blog site    http://costarica-connection.com   

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you. Pura Vida!!

Posted: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 10:02 AM by Joseph A. Emanuelli

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