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Costa Rica
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

President Alvarado vetoes marchamo discount; payments start today

President Carlos Alvarado vetoed legislation that would have discounted Costa Rica’s mandatory vehicle circulation permits, or marchamos, citing budgetary concerns.

The cuts would “generate a loss of resources that the country urgently needs at this time,” President Alvarado said after the veto.

“What was approved generates a budget gap and would send a negative message to the markets that would jeopardize the economic stability of the country,” he said. “It also goes against the objectives of the agreement we have reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stabilize the economy.”

Deputies approved the project on Tuesday, La Nacion reports. The discount will apply for vehicles valued at less than ¢15 million (about $24,000) and will range between 9% and 45%.

The initiative had been approved with 35 votes in favor and seven against by the unicameral Legislative Assembly.

Payments for marchamos are collected starting November 1. The amount varies according to the year, make and use of a vehicle. It includes Mandatory Automobile Insurance (SOA), property tax, sales tax and other taxes, as well as unpaid traffic fines.

The deadline to pay is Dec. 31; starting Jan. 1, drivers without the 2022 marchamo sticker displayed on their vehicles will be fined and have their license plates removed.

Paying after the deadline also entails a daily fine of a certain percentage of every tax that is part of the marchamo, plus a monthly fine of a percentage of the value of all insurance charges.

As of November, vehicle owners can find out exactly what they owe on the INS website.

Vehicle owners can pay their marchamo at hundreds of authorized collection points, including INS branches, banks and many businesses.  Payment locations can be found here.

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