Paying the Piper --Difficulties!

ISSUE #831: Sept. 27- Oct.3, 2020

2020-10-04

Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly newsletter -determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of Lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have re-sales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

Brian Timmons
Developer / Property manager
Residencias Los Jardines

Web: https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com
ResidenciasPropertyManagement@gmail.com

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #116 and #124

Rentals: Los Jardines: Available immediately: #106C $900 mo. / #121 $1,300 mo. / #126 $650 mo.

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

FOR SALE
Unit #116: $ 195,000 $ 189,995 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 125,000 $ 115,000 / See Unit

FOR RENT
Unit #106C: $900 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #121: $1,300 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #126: $650 mo. $625 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #116
FOR SALE
$ 195,000 $ 189,995

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

UNIT #124
FOR SALE
$125,000 $ 115,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + covered parking for one car, is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple.

For rent

UNIT #106C
FOR RENT
$900 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Floor
Type: 4-plex
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. Units 106A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5” concrete slab prevent sound transference.

UNIT #121
FOR RENT
$1,300 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1432
Total area (Sq M): 131
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 Story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This is a detached, two story, two bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom house. It is nicely furnished as the prictues indicate. Ground floor consists of den/TV room, dining room, living room, kitchen, and 1/2 bathroom. Second floor: master bedroom with full bathroom including a jacuzzi, 2nd bedroom with ensuite bathroom, terrace.

UNIT #126
FOR RENT
$650 mo. $625 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 530
Total area (Sq M): 50
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 1st Floor
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

A small one bedroom with outside covered terrace with top of the line finishes (granite, stainless steel appliances, fine crafted wood cabinetry, +, +, +), with lots of well thought out storage...

Our Lives

What Happened This Week

Weather: Normal rains for this time of year.

Stories

1. Security Cameras: remains on my list but nothing happening

2. Social Protests: Many, many orchastrated strikes and protests blocking major road ways for hours and people expressing their displeasure at the proposed increase in taxes to pay for the COVID related government issues... Remember, many of these protesters are being paid full sallary for doing nothing an all their salary is being accredited towards their sometimes inflated pensions, alginaldos, vacations, etc.

3.Market Activity: One showing...

4. Sinac: This is the government agency responsible for policing construction in the Maritime Zone. It has a long history of poor and uneven enforcement of rules and contradictions... as well as bulldozing things prematurely... this is one of the agencies which has been harrazzing my Caribbean friend's construction project for the past 5 months. It appears the organization is being investigated for corruption... jajaja... my friend has never been able to understand the issues and the nature nor the intensity of the harrassment... and he had all documentation... He had been asked for a bribe on more than one occassion but he refused...

5. Beans -a new venture: It appears I may be getting into the bean business... a small company located in CR and operating in Nicaragua, has been selling red beans to Walmart- CR and related companies... they buy the beans in NIcaragua, process them (clean, sort, package, ship to drop-off points in CR), now has secured the promise of a larger contract and revolving contracts... the buyer is a US-California company. The CR company needs money to finance the venture... never done anyithing like this before... will learn and hopefully will not get burned... I like beans but I don't want to own 6 containers of them... but I cannot think of anything more basic than beans...

6. Courts and the Legal System: It has come to a complete stand still. Re. the foreclosure I was awarded on Jan. 24, I am still awaiting a lazy judge to asign me the rights; The INS law suit --of which I am a small part and iss now on-going for 6 years, has come to a complete halt...I asked the lawyers why I had not received an update nor an invoice--since invoices and lawyers are like fingers on a hand, I was wondering if they were still in business--not that I wanted an invoice....they said that nothing was happening.

News Items of the Week

Comments:

WE certainly do live in troubled times and everywhere one looks, there is trouble... I enjoy my hammock, sunshine, fountain with it's babbling water, and hope the world (and wife) does not find me...

1. Protests: All over the country... friends in Jaco had visitors arriving from Canada -they were delayed en route by 4hrs / my friends in Jaco finally got a court autction date for a forclosure- they have been waiting for 8 months for a date and were supposed to be in Putarenas... they were blocked... but they did get a date... May, 202!!!!! -a full 14 months after application... From the protester's perspective, the government needs to reduce spending... that is only a vague suggestion but the request for more taxes is real and specific... and the proof is that the government continues to spend more this year despite their promises... the govrnment "bonus" system seems to be the culprit because this part increased substantially faster than inflation... Government salaries now respresent 50% of the government costs -25% in other OECD countries. If the Property Tax proposal goes thru as proposed, Los Jardines taxes will go from approximately $8,000 to $25,000. The internaional transfer tax of 5% each way adds that much cost to all international commerce. The additional increase in personal income tax is substantial and is on top of the existing rate... More companaies will got out of business. The 25% unemployment will remain. The colon:US $ exchange rate, which had been fairly stable over the past seveal years at 560:$1 is now approaching 600:$1.

Hotel Chamber calls for peaceful protests against the government's tax plan, in the same of tourism

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels, CCH, called on the groups that protested on Wednesday throughout the country against the government's proposal for more taxes, that these marches must be carried out peacefully.

The protesters reject that the negotiation proposal with the International Monetary Fund, IMF, is based on more taxes and not on a substantial decrease in government spending.

The new tax package is part of the proposal that the government presented to congress. Deputies will analyze the plan to either reject or approve it before it gets sent to the IMF asking for a loan of $1.75 billion.

Under the slogan of "No More Taxes", hundreds of people blocked the main routes of the country. According to the press department of the Traffic Police, main blockades were reported in Downtown San José near the Ministry of Finance and Congress, San Pedro, Zapote near Casa Presidencial, Ciudad Colon and Santa Ana in San José Province.

The CCH expresses its concern about the damage that some actions such as total blockades in the streets could cause to the country. Protests could harm economic activities that have just been recovering from the most severe stages of the restriction measures imposed by the government.

"We call for peace, we as a sector also have our disagreements with the proposal presented by the Government, however, we believe that other mechanisms should be sought to solve this conflict," Javier Pacheco, president of the Chamber said. “Let's defend democracy, but let's do it through dialogue, in harmony and with respect for the rights of all other citizens.”

Representatives of the CCH call on the government to listen to the feelings of the people, and to "take advantage of this opportunity to contribute, promote and maintain peace, in this way, democracy is also protected."

Early Wednesday morning a large number of people took to the streets to march against the plan to impose more taxes that the government has planned.

Protests might also delay traffic, so for people traveling out of the two main airports, Juan Santamaria in Alajuela Province or Daniel Oduber in Guanacaste Province, it is recommended to calculator extra time of at least one hour in advance, to avoid missing the flight.

Vehicle blockades and caravans were also reported in the districts of Uvita, Limón Centro and near the APM Terminals Port, Siquirres, Puerto Viejo in Limón Province.

More blockades and protests were also reported in Aguas Zarcas in San Carlos, near the Juan Santamaría International Airport and Alajuela Centro in Alajuela Province.

As well as protests and blockades were reported near Liberia, Cañas in Guanacaste Province.

Other places where vehicle caravans and marches were reported were near Puntarenas Centro and Caldera Port in Puntarenas Province.

The mass protest was organized by the group called Movimiento Rescate Nacional (National Rescue Organization in English), led by the two former deputies José Miguel Corrales and Célimo Guido.

This is the second massive march against more taxes this month.

On Saturday, Sept. 19, a large caravan of vehicles moved from the Monument of the former President Leon Cortes Castro, located in Sabana, along 14 kilometers over route 27, to reach President Carlos Alvarado’s house. His home is located in the Santana District in San José Province.

Organized by the Bloque Patriótico Pacifista ( Patriotic Pacifist Group in English), hundreds of people showed up in their cars, motorcycles, bicycles and even on foot to complete a caravan of several miles.

"This is a country issue (referring to the new tax plan), it concerns everybody. The people are tired of them (referring to the government) from so much abuse, just thinking about taxes," organizers said on a video of the rally posted on the Bloque Patriótico Pacifista Facebook page.

This was one of many organizations that have expressed its opposition to imposing more taxes.

The CCH classified the government's plan to present the IMF as unacceptable.

Similarly, the National Chamber of Tourism, Canatur, opposes the new tax plan, calling it "a punch to businessmen."

According to the government, the new tax plan is a temporary measure. The main taxes disclosed by the government that are included in the plan are:

• A new tax to all financial transactions. The tax of approximately 0.3%, would be applied to all transactions that are made through banks, such as purchases with debit or credit cards, payments of public services using internet banking, or every time a banking platform is used to move money from one account to another.

The new tax will apply for four years to all banking and securities transactions. In the first two years, it will be 0.3%. In the next two years, it will be 0.2%, said the government in its statement

• Tax is on salaries, pensions, company profits, and money transfers abroad.

In the case of wages, the tax will be staggered, from 2.5% to 10%, depending on the amount of wages. Starting with salaries of $1,400 and up.

In the case of the earnings of independent professionals, the tax will apply progressively from 2.5% to 10%, starting on reported earnings of approximately $6,110 and up.

• Tax on companies' profits. In this case, a tax would also be charged in a staggered manner, between 2.5% and 10%. Starting with reported net profits of approximately $183,302 and up.

• A 5% tax on sending money abroad. The tax will apply to people or businesses that send money to and from Costa Rica to any country, regardless if the business is or is not domiciled in the country.

• Extra house tax. Currently, the property tax is 0.25% of the taxable value of the property. The proposal is to double or an increase of 0.50% to 0.75%.

• More indirect taxes would be carried out through the elimination of exonerations that are currently in the income of cooperatives, school salary bonuses, capital income among others.

It is expected that today, the government will address its decision to stop or continue with the tax plan.

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