Bill sent to full legislature to tax payment of taxes

An initiative from the public would ban sports hunting in Costa Rica and also assess a small new tax.

The sweeping bill was under discussion Thursday at the Comisión Permanente Especial de Ambiente, and lawmakers finally passed it on approvingly to the full legislature.

The tax would be 1 percent of base salary, which now is 360,600 colons or about $709. So the tax would be about $7. It would be assessed on all vehicles when they renew their registration and also when a registration is issued the first time. It also would be assessed when a construction permit is issued and when a property owner pays taxes to a municipality. The money would go to a wildlife fund for actions required under the law.

The measure has been in the legislature since 2008 when some 177,000 persons signed petitions to create the law. Lawmakers must vote if they will accept it. There is a deadline to so a week away.

Costa Rica is not a big sports hunting location. Most of the hunting is by people in the countryside who eat the meat of the animal they kill. Subsistence hunting would be regulated but not banned under the law.

The law also seems to assert broad control over every living wild creature in the county, including the oceans.

The proposal also would require controls and monitoring of the wild population of animals and combine a lot of existing laws into one package.

What the committee approved Thursday was a substitute text that they said improved the scope of the proposal.

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