Two taxes are being challenged in constitutional court appeals.
The first challenge is against a 10 percent surcharge on imported beers. This tax dates from 1936. The money is supposed to go to the Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal, a government organization that is seldom in the news.
The name of those filing the appeal are not listed, but the claim is that such a special tax just for imported beer is prejudicial and contrary to international treaties.
Also being challenged is the tax on motels. The stiff motel tax of 60 percent is one of those direct levies that go directly to a government agency. In this case, the recipient is the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, the anti-poverty agency. The appeal is that this designation is contrary to a law that says all money should go to the national treasury.
The implications of this case are vast because many taxes are directed to specific entities. Among these are the luxury home tax, the corporate tax and the airport exit tax. A proposed $4 increase in the airport exit tax would go to the country’s Olympic committee.