Small Rural Pulperias Could Pay Less for Liquor Tax

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The Legislative Assembly is considering reforming Article 10 of the current Liquor Law, to establish fairer license fees for small rural businesses that sell alcohol

The new law took effect on August 8, 2012, and one of the controversial aspects is setting the base salary, which is currently 379,400 colones ($760), as a parameter to determine how much a business should pay to sell alcoholic beverages.  

With the reform proposed by the legislators, local owners that sell alcoholic beverages will pay 1% of the total purchase of alcoholic beverages to the municipality of the canton quarterly.  

Lawmakers are seeking to create a balanced rate that takes into account purchase volume as an objective parameter for setting the payment of the municipal license, so those who buy more will pay more. 

“Current licenses paid by these small businesses, many of them located in rural areas, are excessive because they correspond to their sales volumes, which would prevent them from continuing to operate,” said PAC legislator Gustavo Arias Navarro.  

PAC lawmaker stressed that “we seek to create a balanced rate that takes into account purchase volume, so that those who purchase more, like large multinational chains, pay more. We talked about the principle of progressivity that should prevail in tax justice,” he said.  

Currently this project is under consideration by the Special Permanent Committee on Municipal Affairs and Participatory Local Development in the Legislative Assembly.