Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tax Time In Mexico

January is the month we pay our property tax, car plates, and car taxes.  This year, only cars from 2008 to 2011 pay a "tenencia", a tax based on the value of the car.  We won't have to pay that on the Durango but we will on the Pointer.  All vehicles will have to pay "refrendo" or tags and for those from 2008 to 2011, both.

Today I went to the gym and then formed the line in the town square.   I was there from 10 a,m. until 12:30 p.m.   Typical government operation.  Tons of city workers coming and going, buying tacos, sodas, and snacks and only two cashiers to accept the property tax payment.  Cultural, maybe.  However, when you are asking to fill the city coffers with money from its citizens, you could hide some of the horseplay and add a couple more temporary cashiers to help things along.

On the news this morning, they showed the first woman in Monterrey to pay her property tax.  She won a flat screen television.   Cameras started rolling and she said, " I am refusing the television.  I would prefer that they install lighting on my street so we feel safe coming and going to work in the early morning and nighttime hours".  That put an end to the fabulous news story of the winner who was the first to pay their taxes.  There are more examples in other municipalities here in Monterrey too.  Another woman who is the "juez auxiliar", or neighborhood representative, gathered her neighbors together to have them all come down to pay their taxes saying, "if we don't don this we can't demand that the city do their job".  Right on woman!

Tomorrow I go to Allende to pay the property tax there and then we have to pay our vehicle taxes.  They can be done on line but, you don't receive the 15% discount for paying in January.  Imagine, a discount on paying your taxes on time?  Criminal.

I also need to wash the windows on the rv, check the tires, hitch parts, and other details to prepare for our trip.  I did a check and cleaning of the batteries, their posts and cables, and topped off the water (distilled) to make sure they are in good condition.  So far, all systems are go!

BTW, I paid a total of 120 dollars for property tax.  The man in front me commented that in the U.S. all the streets are in excellent condition, paved with gold, well-maintained, and on and on.  I reminded him too, that if my house in Santiago was in San Antonio I would be paying 7645 dollars.  He quieted down soon after that :).  As we say in Spanish, "paga lo que debes" (pay what you owe)

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