Hotel owners and landlords in Costa Rica are creating an effort to draft a legislation that would tax vacation rentals such as condominiums, apartments, and other housing/lodgings that currently fall into a legal gray area.
The plan, which is near to being introduced in the Legislative Assembly, would apply a hotel tax on rentals in Costa Rica booked through online platforms such as VRBO, Airbnb, FlipKey, Tripping.com, and HomeAway.
Traditionally, the revenue raised has gone to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), but the new bill would redirect resources to the national parks, which are a primary source of attraction for tourists, and to the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) for the implementation of the Animal Welfare Law, that was approved in June 2017, which is in desperate need of resources.
Gustavo Araya, President of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hoteliers (CCH), is one of the leaders of the initiative. Araya said they are waiting for a good moment to introduce the bill, so that it doesn’t get mixed up with the fiscal reform initiatives that are currently obstructing the legislative agenda.
“The additional cost would be charged to the tourist who decides to stay in condominiums, whereas if they decide to stay in hotels, the tax corresponds to the hotel, and not the tourist,” added Araya.
“We do not think it is an issue of unfair competition, we are not increasing the tax burden. It was a burden we had for years and we did not complain,” Araya argued.
Credits to: Wendy Anders, The Costa Rica Star