Costa Rica must first collect the current taxes on the books

Costa Rica is at a turning point along with much of the rest of the world. Proposals are made daily to try to “fix” the economic problems and financial shortfalls which exist. But Costa Rica is unique in that so much of its revenue comes from outside sources, and to throw those sources away could easily spell disaster. Large international companies such as IBM have committed recently to relocate a portion of their workforce in Costa Rica. But now?

With the uncertainty and potential tax increases, their decisions are on hold. Can Costa Rica afford to lose these companies and all of the jobs they bring? Please, evaluate carefully the potential problems that will come if these corporations are taxed even more. Can Costa Rica afford to lose more jobs in today’s environment?

Many applaud the decision that has been made to close down the gold mining operation here in Costa Rica despite a legitimate concession being given. The validity and ultimate “right or wrong” decision will be ratified (or not) by the future. But has the government told the people what the potential liabilities are by nullifying the concession? The country of Costa Rica could easily have a judgment rendered against it in the billions of dollars by an international arbitration court. Can Costa Rica really afford that?

I have seen this question posed in the past but have never seen a satisfactory answer: “with the financial shortfalls that exist in Costa Rica today, why does the government not simply make a concerted effort to collect the taxes owed instead of inventing new ones which will simply not be collected ?” The government, if it is indeed serious about erasing its deficit, needs to demonstrate that it “means business” and that delinquency or tax avoidance will not be tolerated.

Randy Berg
San Mateo

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