The new Solis government, faced with high unemployment and deficits from the previous administration, should be looking at ways to shore up two of its biggest industries — tourism and real estate, by making the country a more attractive place to visit/live, instead of killing these geese that have been laying the golden eggs by directly levying stifling new taxes on them.
A way for Costa Rica to get started in that direction would be to live up to its self-billed moniker as being green. With the 22 illegal landfills reported on the other day, it shows that the trash problem is way out of hand.
A bottle bill law would generate enough income for the government to start dealing with their trash problem. One way would be to recycle all the plastic bottles that can be made into finished products. One such product already being made are reusable shopping bags made from 100 percent recycled plastic. Just think, the bags could be sold cheaply to anyone with a cédula, while the government either puts a tax on the plastic bags normally handed out free at the supers, or even better: Bans them outright. Ticos would quickly change their habits if they had to start paying for bags every time they shop.
If Solis aims to stem the bleeding that the new tax initiative has started, then he needs to improve conditions for both real estate and tourism to thrive. Creating new industry that comes with jobs, while cleaning up the trash problem would be a good place to start.
Hari Singh Khalsa