Editorial- Why Do We Pay Twice for Community Works?

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Everyday life and the pressures of the house, the children, the job and life in general turn us into forgetful citizens. Maybe forgetful is not the right word, because sometimes we do not even realize what is happening in our communities, and we are ignorant that we might even end up paying double for a public investment.


Next month, in February, marks the one year anniversary of the grand opening of the Nicoa Market, formerly known as Guayabitas Market. At that time, the Municipality of Nicoya invested ¢73 million ($139,000) in this work, which includes some of your money and mine.


But one month before finishing its inaugural year, the property already has serious damage. The heavy rains of the past months brought down a large part of the ceiling and there are already doors in poor condition, so now more money has to be invested to repair it.


This extra money that must be paid again is paid by all of us because we pay it when we pay municipal taxes like income taxes or when, if we have our own business, we pay for business permits, liquor licenses and other things that we pay to the municipality.


Taxes are necessary. Without a doubt, the municipalities have a large commitment to provide the communities with solutions, and they can only do that with resources. And they also create opportunities that are important for the development of the canton like the Nicoa Market, which houses more than 50 producers.


Paying taxes doesn’t hurt. What hurts is seeing how the money is poorly spent and then the people have to pay double.


This situation doesn’t only happen in Nicoya. We also saw it in August in Santa Cruz, when the Central Market, less than one year after being remodeled, had boards detaching from the ceiling, which created huge holes. In that case, Santa Cruz invested ¢18 million ($34,000) in remodeling, which vanished with the wind that tore the roof apart.


And it is not just about pointing fingers at the municipalities, because unfortunately, we published another similar case in February in which The Voice of Guanacaste verified that the vast majority of ceiling panels, mainly those that are placed over the corridors that connect the pavilions of Leonidas Briceño School, were cracking and out of place, threatening to fall into the passageway, also one year after being built.

Getting used to paying double should not turn into a bad habit. Community project initiatives and the needs of the people are too immense to waste money. Guanacaste does not deserve to disparage what it costs so much to have.