Tourism chamber says it might go to court

The national tourism chamber says it will take all the legal measures in its reach, including a case against the finance ministry in the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo, to reverse a new sales tax ruling.

The chamber, the Cámara Nacional de Turismo, also said it would seek legislation to overturn the new interpretation.

The chamber said it had tried every possible informal avenue in discussions with public officials but got no action.

At issue is a new interpretation of a 2006 law that levies tax on admissions and tourism activities to national parks and other protected areas. Not only was the interpretation issued arbitrarily by the Ministerio de Hacienda, officials seek retroactive payments back to 2006.

The chamber said that continued enforcement of the tax, which went into effect Thursday, would affect the financial structure of tourism agencies and cost the country its competitivity in the tourism market by increasing prices.

The chamber notes that many tourism contracts are made two years in advance, and adjustments for sales tax have not been made.

The chamber also noted that by enforcing the tax, which was part of a decree, admissions to national parks will decrease.

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