Bill to tax speculative funds reported out of committee

A legislative committee Wednesday reported out a bill that would allow a 30 percent exit tax on what is being described as foreign speculative capital.

The bill empowers the Banco Central de Costa Rica to apply the tax and related measures when it appears that the local economy is being affected by the inflow of foreign capital. Money is coming here now because Costa Rica has a relatively high interest rate for colons.

The tax would be leveled on non-residents, although that area is cloudy because foreign investors could have Costa Rican corporations. There also does not seem to be a recognition of the non-resident expats who live here part of the time and might even operate successful businesses.

The bill also might contravene the Central American Free Trade Treaty that provides for free flow of capital.

Another section of the bill regulates the foreign purchase of stocks and other financial paper in Costa Rica.

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