San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Organic Agriculture Law Passed – Again

Last September’s passage of a bill to promote organic agriculture (TT, Sept. 8, 2006) wasn’t quite the final word. Due to a procedural snafu, the passage of the bill wasn’t valid, so the legislators gave it another shot.

The bill passed June 11 is the same as the one passed in September. Like its predecessor, it includes provisions for 10-year property and income tax exemption, as well as tax breaks on machinery imports for small- and medium-sized organic farmers who qualify.

The reason for the new vote, said Libertarian Movement (ML) spokeswoman Auxiliadora Zúñiga, was that the first time around, the assembly voted on the wrong version of the text.

She called it “an administrative error.”

Libertarian legislator Ovidio Agüero expressed his pleasure at the bill’s approval, especially the provisions that “will exonerate the equipment, machinery and raw material of organic producers from taxes.”

The bill passed unanimously, 42-0.

To go into effect, the bill requires a signature from the Executive Branch. Casa Presidencial spokesman Pablo Guerén said Monday the Executive Branch hadn’t received the new law, but expects to have it by the end of this week.


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