President signs measure for $2 billion in borrowing

President Laura Chinchilla signed two bills Tuesday, including one that would allows the executive branch to borrow $2 billion on the international market. A second bill would increase the penalties for tax evasion and also contains a clause that allows tax authorities to take a percentage of electronic sales automatically.

Casa Presidencial said that the $2 billion would be used to buy back existing debt at a reduced interest rate and will not increase the public indebtedness. Both measures now go to the legislature for consideration.

The measure that increases penalties had been predicted. It doubles fines for incorrect and false reporting. The measure also increases penalties for customs fraud, for example when an importer produces a false bill of lading with a lower value of the goods.

The measure also would authorize the tax collecting administration to set up a method to tax percentages from electronic transactions as sales tax. Under the current system, a merchant collects the sale price and taxes and pays the tax and makes a report on the 15th of each month.

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