Finance minister lobbies lawmakers for fast action on taxes

The finance minister urged legislators Wednesday to pass the substitute tax plan to provide the government with an estimated $1 billion more a year.

The minister, Fernando Herrero, said that private hospital stays would only be taxed at 10 percent instead of the 14 percent value-added that that is in the proposal.

The minster also argued that 80 percent of private school students would not be affected by the government plan to assess a 10 percent tax on monthly tuitions of more than 110,000 colons or about $220. The minister also said that under the new proposal, residents with income would pay a 15 percent tax, which is the same rate as corporations.

Herrero also said that the revised tax plan exempts more food products from the value-added tax for the benefit of those with low income.

The minister urged quick approval of the plan to members of the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Hacendarios so that the government does not have to borrow more money to meet its obligations.

Most lawmakers favor some form of tax plan.

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