Fourteen Costa Rican public companies would give a solidarity contribution of up to 30% of their profits as a temporary and extraordinary measure to face the crisis generated by the pandemic and contribute to the sustainability of public finances.
This bill No. 22,384, presented by the Government this Friday, aims to annually collect 0.20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The purpose of this initiative is that, for a period of four years, a solidarity contribution is applied on the utility of public companies after the payment of taxes and any other charge, so that it is transferred to the Costa Rican State, to meet the payment debt service (amortization and interest) ”, specifies the proposal under the name of the Law of solidarity and temporary contribution on the utility of public companies to the Costa Rican people for fiscal adjustment.
The measure would apply to the following public companies:
• Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) y sus subsidiarias.
• Banco Nacional de Costa Rica (BNCR) y sus subsidiarias.
• Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) y sus subsidiarias.
• Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz S.A.
• Correos de Costa Rica S.A. (CORREOS)
• Editorial Costa Rica (ECR)
• Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (ICAA)
• Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)
• Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (INCOFER)
• Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico (INCOP)
• Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo de la Vertiente Atlántica (JAPDEVA)
• Junta de Protección Social (JPS)
• Radiográfica Costarricense S.A. (RACSA)
• Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. (RECOPE S.A.)
The initiative adds that the specific percentage that will correspond to the entity will be determined by decree. “To determine the effective amount to be paid by each entity, the Executive Power may assign different contribution percentages, based on factors such as: prudential regulations provisions, capitalization needs and priorities of the national development plan, among others. Provided that the aggregate amount of all contributions per year is equivalent to 0.20% of GDP and that it does not exceed the established limit of 30% of available profits, ”he explains.
Likewise, the bill contemplates a transitional section to the constitutive laws of the entities in cases where the current regulations could generate conflicts with the proposal by prohibiting the accrual of the Government of a percentage of the net profits of such companies.
The proposal is clear in that the entities will not be able to transfer the contribution to their clients. “Public companies are prohibited from changing, modifying or in any way varying their cost structures in order to shift the burden of the contribution to end users or consumers,” the document details.
This joint and temporary contribution would be canceled annually and would come into effect for four years from the publication of the law.
The Minister of Finance, Elian Villegas, pointed out that with the referral to the Legislative Assembly of the last three bills that are part of the fiscal adjustment that the country is developing, what corresponds to the income issue is closed in this process of adjustment.
“These are the projects that we had already referred to on global income, the 0.5% tax on luxury real estate with a value greater than ¢ 150 million, and another that comes to establish a contribution to public companies, additional to the contributions they currently make. Also, in the coming days we will present an extraordinary budget, in which more than ¢ 38,000 million will be incorporated in social spending, to reinforce the social content of the budget and allow the institutions that today are dedicated to programs related to scholarships, care, Non-contributory pensions, among others, have more resources to carry out their work for the benefit of all Costa Ricans, ”said Villegas.
For her part, the Minister of the Presidency, Geannina Dinarte, said that the initiatives presented contribute to joint work to stabilize the country’s economy and strengthen public finances, as well as having the resources for essential programs of the population and meeting the needs of financing of the next government. “I appreciate the consent of the deputies and deputies to discuss these issues and seek consensus for their approval,” said Dinarte.