San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Farmers prepare large protest in San José on Tuesday

The president of the National Agroindustry Chamber (CNAA), Álvaro Sáenz, said Sunday that an estimated 20,000 people would march in the Costa Rican capital on Tuesday morning.

In a press conference at the National Park in San José, Sáenz said farmers would gather at Central Park at 9 a.m. and march to the Legislative Assembly. “We expect some 200 buses with people from all over the country,” he added.

Leaders of agricultural, livestock and cooperative sectors plan to meet with the president of the Legislative Assembly, Víctor Emilio Granados – from the ruling National Liberation Party – to seek approval of bill No. 18,070, which would cut property taxes by 80 percent on lands dedicated to farming.

The bill would reform the current property law, which states that all properties must pay the same tax percentages, regardless of the activity that is being performed on them.

Lawmakers and the National Union of Local Governments last week said a reduction of 40-50 percent might be feasible, but it’s far from the 80 percent cut that farmers are demanding.

President Laura Chinchilla said on July 25 that she is in favor of prioritizing the bill, and she believes the terms of the property law, reformed in 2007, “need to be reviewed.”

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