Destination of alcohol tax questioned by lawmakers

Part of the sales tax on alcoholic beverages ends up at three government-related but private organizations.

Four political parties said Monday that they would seek to reform the law and, instead, send this money directly to the country’s 81 municipalities.

This is one of those dedicated taxes that never receives an accounting in the national budget. The political parties, Frente Amplio, Unidad Social Cristiana, Movimiento Libertario and Acción Ciudadana, said the amount was 560 million colons, presumably in a year. 

That is a bit more than $1 million.

The money now goes to the Unión Nacional de Gobiernos Locales, the Asociación Nacional de Alcaldes e Intendentes and the Red Costarricense de Mujeres Municipalistas, all organizations of mayors and local officials.

The announcement of the proposal said that there was a loss of confidence in these organizations because they lacked transparency.

The announcement said that in addition to going to the municipalities, the funds would be directed to a municipal training program and the Universidad Estatal a Distancia. The money would not go into the general fund.

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