Corporate tax measure fails to get its final OK

The proposal to tax corporations ran into trouble in the Asamblea Legislativa Tuesday, the day lawmakers were expected to pass the bill for the second and final time.

The bill never came to a vote, but several legislators heaped criticism on the measure, which had passed on first reading easily with 39 votes. There was a second vote planned for Thursday but it never materialized as lawmakers ran out of time.

One lawmaker Tuesday called the measure unjust because it taxes a small corporation the same amount as a large one.

Meanwhile lawmakers became involved in budgetary discussions.

President Laura Chinchilla is counting on passage to raise 37 billion colons to pay for a police school and other security expenses. Some opposition lawmakers are reluctant to provide any new funding for the central administration.

The proposal would tax a corporation or other forms of ownership about $316 and an inactive corporation about half that. The bill is important to expats because many hold their vehicles and homes in corporate ownership.

One lawmaker expressed concern over a provision that would allow corporate owners to remove property from the legal entity without paying a transfer tax. The provision was included to give corporation owners a chance to put the properties or vehicles in their own name and kill the corporation.

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