Real Estate in Santa Teresa and Mal Pais Costa Rica
Properties in Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa and Manzanillo
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Costa Rica Real Estate Guide

Land Taxes

Collection of land taxes became the responsibility of the local municipalities several years ago. In the case of private land (both titled and untitled), property tax previously was at a rate of 6% of the declared value based on the Tax Law No. 7509. In May of 1995, this code was changed and the tax was lowered. According to the new law No. 7729, taxes are based on 0.25% of the declared value. In most cases, lower values are claimed than what the actual selling price was. Bills come out in January of each year for all real estate in Santa Teresa, Mal Pais and Manzanillo and are payable at the municipal office in Cobano.

For maritime property or permisos de uso an "occupation tax" called a canon is paid. Improvements like a house etc. are taxed in addition to the canon and pay a tax based on the value of the construction.

It is common in many Mal Pais and Santa Teresa real estate transactions to not claim the actual selling price but declare a lower value so as not to pay higher taxes and registration fees. This is the buyer’s decision but may not be advisable in all cases. If there were ever a future claim against the seller or the government, or you wanted to mortgage the property, any reference would be made to the recorded value and not the actual price that was paid. You may also consider that in the future if you resell the property, it may be more difficult to explain a substantial difference between what you are asking and what you paid for the property. In practice, however, most buyers understand that the actual and recorded sales prices can vary drastically.

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