Costa Rica’s New Luxury Tax – Meat, Fruit and Floors Mops

I don't know what is going on with the government of Costa Rica and it seems like every day I/m feeling more sorry for the Ticos. Last January, the government hammered the people with higher traffic fines, tolls increases and corporation Tax and before that,  the cigarette tax. We all know how importing luxury items like cars, boats, electronic products are already taxed to death ... … [Read more...]

Costa Rica’s Dry Law – Eliminate the Prohibition Ley Seca?

One of the things that Gringo's have always been puzzled on is Costa Rica' very old "dry law” (Ley Seca); a liberal law that prohibits sales of liquor, wine and beer at Easter and Christmas, besides elections and such sectarian holidays as Sept. 15 (Independence Day). Bars are supposed to be closed … but as most know, it usually is the front door only! Establishments … [Read more...]

Higher Traffic Fines, Tolls, Corporation Tax in Costa Rica

One again, as the New Year gets started, Costa Rican's will find themselves paying more to the government. Ticos by nature are non-aggressive, but this time the government may experience what American's have seen, "country wide protests" and what some of the Bloggers are writing about, "WTF - The don't understand land!" Starting today (Jan 1, 2012) Costa Rica will see ( to name the few) … [Read more...]

Costa Rica’s Unions Strikes – Benefits & Privatization

I don't know if it is just me, but it seems like every time you turn around Costa Rica is having some sort of labor strike. Last Monday, about 2000 union workers of Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) (government monopoly on power and light company) went on strike, and snarled traffic on several major streets in and around San Jose. They were protesting a bill in the Legislative … [Read more...]

Costa Rica’s Internet Future – IPv6, Competition and Fraud

The world’s most advance technology will have it  20th Birthday on Aug, 8th; thats when the “World Wide Web (www)” first gained a public face in 1991. CERN, which straddles the border between France and Switzerland, publicized the new World Wide Web project, two years after,  British scientist Tim Berners-Lee had begun creating HTML, HTTP and the first few Web pages at CERN. The World Wide … [Read more...]

IRS Goes After US Income Expats in Costa Rica

Once again the media hammered the public with the new IRS threat, that they are going after US expats that have failed to pay US income taxes! Back in February of 2011 the IRS announced a program for U.S. taxpayers who have overseas accounts, income, or other foreign assets that have not been previously reported and/or taxed. This is called the “2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative,” … [Read more...]

Uranium Weapons Banned in Costa Rica – No Free Trade Zone

This week Costa Rica got a lot of world-wide attention with three hot news stories. A Costa Rican court sentenced former president Miguel Angel Rodriguez to five years in prison Wednesday after finding him guilty of taking bribes from French telecoms giant Alcatel. Alcatel is no stranger to kickbacks,  in Dec, 2010,  US Securities and Exchange Commission nailed them with  137 million U.S. … [Read more...]

Online Poker Gambling Seizures – PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker

Last Friday (at around 1:30 pm), I got a call from a private investigator in Costa Rica, who said the U.S. Government's FBI just killed Costa Rica today! This is huge news! My friend continued with the outraged about how the FBI put over 4,000 Costa Ricans (we heard reports that this may be up to 20,000) out of work when the online poker world was shaken as the owners of the three largest online … [Read more...]

Government Seizes Sailfish Meat From Seafood Company

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. USA. – Costa Rican government officials released information to The Billfish Foundation (TBF) of the seizure from a seafood exporter, of over 7,000 kilos of sailfish meat bound for Peru. Sailfish are protected species in the popular Costa Rican fishery. Tico Times Editor Note: Costa Rica's ban of exporting billfish meat was established in Jan 2009. Investigators … [Read more...]

Limon’s Redevelopment – Stalemate Between Union and Government

If you love historical redevelopment, it is so easy to see how Limon would be the perfect candidate,  and at the same time become a world-class port bringing in billions to Costa Rica. Its shipyards with historical railroad equipment, the downtown look of Caribbean/New Orleans, with its Victorian homes flaunting long balconies and colorful façades add old-world charm . And not counting a gateway … [Read more...]

Costa Rica’s Future – US Marines, Drugs, Investments, Tourism, and Oil

Last week our email box was pretty much filled with, “Why the US Marines were invading Costa Rica?” Even at our Facebook  account, a few commented on right-wing political BS, “It's all about the oil, about building a military base in Costa Rica, and of keeping an eye on all the other dangerous countries around like Venezuela." However, I would like to comment on the one of the insanely … [Read more...]

Insurance in Costa Rica – INS – Rules of Engagement to Brokers

Every Costa Rican knows [since they can remember] the government monopoly of, oil/gas, electric, internet, and insurance has been one big headache after another. In Oct, 2007  when Costa Rica’s Free Trade Agreements (FTA) were signed,  it looked like for the first time Costa Rican’s were going to get a break, when foreign companies could compete with government companies, especially  for … [Read more...]