Assembly Considers Adding Exit Tax To Plane Fare

September 2, 2005

A bill under discussion in the Legislative Assembly proposes adding the $26 exit tax people must pay when leaving Costa Rica by plane to the price of airline tickets in hopes of reducing the lines people stand in to pay the tax.Now, the tax must be paid at one of the desks installed by the bank Banco Crédito Agrícola de Cartago (Bancrédito) in the airport. Bancrédito receives a 5% commission on the approximately $31.2 million it collects from 1.2 million passengers.Social Christian Unity Party legislator Olman Vargas, who is promoting the bill, said the plan already has the approval of the Association of Airlines and Alterra Partners, the private company contracted by the government to run the airport.However, he said, the Finance Ministry takes issue with the law, principally because it would take the airlines two weeks to turn in the collected funds to the government, while Bancrédito does it immediately.

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