The security ministry, predictably, has followed up a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama with an urgent call to approve a revised tax on corporations.
The vice minister of Seguridad Pública, Juan José Andrade, said the police forces are understaffed.
With a donation of two new planes, more boats, three armored cars and a litany of other devices and programs, the ministry will need more money and personnel to handle them.
Andrade was speaking about bill No. 19.818 that appears to be languishing in the legislature. He spoke at a press conference after the Consejo de Gobierno Tuesday. This is the tax that was declared unconstitutional in January 2015 and which has been restructured. The measure would assess a tax on every corporation or similar entity. The measure is of interest to expats because many hold homes or vehicles in corporations.
This would be a dedicated tax in which 95 percent of the proceeds would not be in the national budget but be directed to the ministry for its use. Andrade estimated that the tax would bring in 45 billion colons, about $82.5 million. Other estimates have been higher.
Some news agencies put the total of the U.S. donation at $30 million, but many of the items cited were announced some time ago. Among these are the new Golfito station for the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and the rebuilt police facility and checkpoint at Kilometer 35 on the Interamericana Sur to catch smugglers.
President Luis Guillermo Solís met with Obama Monday, and
the outpouring of U.S. gifts was the result. Washington, of course, is interested in Costa Rica stopping more drugs headed north as well as addressing the migrant program here. The two C-145 Skytruck turboprop planes, two patrol boats and two smaller intercepter boats have only limited use for other police purposes.
Andrade said he has 1,500 openings in his police forces that now have 12,500 officers.
Mauricio Herrera, the minister of Comunicación, pointed out that the police agencies have confiscated 17 tons of cocaine already this year.