San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President Solís says proposals to lower record-high fuel prices are not viable

The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) sent President Luis Guillermo Solís two proposals for lowering record-high fuel prices: 1) Eliminate fuel taxes and 2) Reduce spending at the National Oil Refinery (RECOPE).

However Solís believes that the tax elimination proposal “is not a valid option considering the harsh fiscal situation the country is facing.”

On Wednesday, the president said that he studied ​​the agency’s proposal but believes the request is “vague and inadequate as it has contradictions,” however he refused to elaborate on what he meant by that. He added that any change in tax policy is something that should be analyzed first by Finance Minister Helio Fallas.

The proposal was presented Monday by ARESEP’s director Dennis Meléndez, who explained that eliminating fuel taxes would reduce gas prices by 30 percent.

However that 30 percent tax is used to fund operations by the National Roadway Council, including road construction and repairs and environmental protection programs.

Finance Vice Minister Fernando Rodríguez also dismissed the tax elimination option considering it “irresponsible and totally impractical.” He said it is not possible to propose a tax reduction as it accounts for 12 percent of tax revenues each year and its elimination would increase the government’s fiscal deficit.

ARESEP Proposals raising gas prices to record-high 

On Thursday ARESEP will hold a public hearing to discuss a new hike in fuel prices that would apply as soon as next week. The hike would be the sixth increase in fuel prices this year.

If approved fuel prices would go up by ₡28, meaning a liter of super gasoline will go from ₡787 to ₡815 ($1.43-1.48) reaching the highest price ever recorded in the country, while Plus gasoline will go from ₡761 to ₡789 ($1.38-1.43). Diesel prices would drop from ₡689 to ₡679 ($1.25-1.23).

Citizens wanting to weigh in on the price hike proposal can attend a public consultation at 4 p.m. Thursday at ARESEP facilities in Escazú, southwest of the capital.

Contact L. Arias at

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Honest man

Gas is too expensive in Costa Rica. Lots of Costa Ricans are living more on Credit than ever before to survive. Cut the TAX on Gas and tax the Rich like EX PREZ OSCAR.

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Ramiro Suarez

Helio Fallas said that if the 30% is cut, the government will stop receiving 12% in the annual tax collection and that would increase the deficit by 2%.

The problem with that is that it assumes the 30% dissapears or at least it is not directly collected by the government as it is now. But the 30% doesn’t dissapears, it justs stays in the pocket of the gasoline consumers to be spent in whatever else… things that are mostly taxed and will return to the government in the tax collection process anyway. Besides, it would lower the price of almost anything. Economy could really benefit from a 30% cut in gasoline or at least use that for other things, CONAVI is not a good example of efficiency.

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