Lawmakers pass bill capping agricultural land assessment

Lawmakers took the initial step Monday to cap the assessed value of agricultural land. Some 49 legislative deputies voted to pass a bill in the first round of voting that holds increases in the value of land used for agriculture to 20 percent.

The bill also orders the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería to do a census of agricultural lands within three years and the Ministerio de Hacienda to establish values for types of agricultural land within four years.

Farmers had been protesting and conducted a march to the legislature for fear that they would face soaring property taxes from the local municipalities.

The bill was not received well in all quarters because some of the largest tracts of agricultural land are owned by multinational corporations who grow bananas and pineapples.

The bill needs one more favorable vote before it is sent to Casa Presidencial.

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