Signups sought for higher motel tax

The government agency that benefits from a 60 percent tax on motel occupancies is urging that the relevant businesses sign up.

The tax is not on the type of motel where they leave the light on for traveling families. These are the site for sexual contact for those who for some reason cannot go home.

The legislature doubled the tax in August, and the measure went into effect Feb. 26.

The beneficiary is the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, an anti-poverty agency.

The tax also covers massage parlors, night clubs, pensions and hotels that are not listed with the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo. These operations, too, are those designed for sexual encounters.

Such places already pay an additional 23 percent tax, so the final tax bill will be 83 percent on top of their own fees.

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