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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 192
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Those U.S. tents to be used to house illegal migrants
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government said that it will begin moving illegal migrants to two new and temporary camps near the country’s northern border.

These camps will house the migrants in large tents that have been donated by the United States.

The government outlined its plans Tuesday, and said it would begin moving 50 migrants today from a squatter’s village, called Parqueo Deldu along the Nicaragua border, to the new setup in Santa Cecilia, La Cruz.

Officials said that this new wave of illegal migrants totaled about 10,900 as of last Friday. Migrants, mostly Haitians, Africans and other unknown nationalities are still coming into the country. The informal camp at the northern border has about 1,500 persons.

Two twin tent cities can hold 750 persons and can be enlarged to hold 1,000.  Some 141 tents were donated to the national emergency commission, but officials declined to say at the time that the tents would house migrants. They said they would be used in the event of natural disasters.

The numbers of migrants still in Costa Rica 
Santa Cecilia
Casa Presidencial photo
This is the tent city known as Santa Cecilia 2

suggest that at least 5,000 have found their way north eventhough Nicaragua has closed its borders to them. Most have come to Costa Rica from South America.

There is a steady flow of Haitians to Brazil. Costa Rican officials said they are in the process of deporting eight Haitians, but they did not say why.

There is a political reference in naming the two camps after the district of the canton of La Cruz where they are located. The Roman Saint Cecilia had nothing to do with immigration, but a popular Mexican band by that name promotes immigration reform in the United States, a favored initiative of President Barack Obama.


Tax collectors lack a sense of humor over sales levy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tax collectors have their backs up because some merchants are advertising products as tax free.

The Dirección General de Tributación said that such offers can be found on the Internet.

In many cases, the businesses simply are discounting their product the amount of the 13 percent sales tax, and shoppers think they are getting a deal.

Actually evading the sales tax in Costa Rica is a continuing problem for officials, but using the lack of a sales tax as a come-on is the least of their problems.
The crucial point is if a
merchant lists the sale each month and remits the appropriate tax to the government whether or not the shopper has been charged the tax specifically. Of course,  Tributación does not like this either. Officials insist that the tax be listed in a separate line an official receipt.

At the very least, offering a product tax free highlights the fact that the government is getting 13 percent on a transaction. Frequently this is more than the merchant nets after expenses. The Solís administration is trying to raise the percentage to 15 eventually.

Meanwhile, if shoppers think they have been cheated because they were not charged the sales tax, they have been invited to contact the tax agency.

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