Do You Brag About Your Taxes?

January 19, 2009

Do You Brag About Your Taxes?

Most likely you complain about your taxes if you live almost anywhere in North America.

Of course that’s your right as a citizen. Living here at Lake Chapala Ajijic Mexico is a bit different.

Most of us here are not citizens, but legal residents, and I guess we could complain about our taxes to each other or to the government, if there was an error on our assessed property taxes, but read on to see what most of us do about our taxes here.

The first thing we do is to take advantage of the discounts available on our property taxes if we pay them early.

A 15 percent discount is applied for payment effected through February 28, dropping to five percent during March and April.

And it gets better. With an IFE voter registration identification proving Mexican citizenship, disabled persons, widows, widowers and seniors over age 60 qualify for a 50 percent discount.  So, there’s another reason at some point you may want to apply for citizenship in Mexico.

Some folks tell me that all seniors get a discount. I’ll be looking into that for us.

The Property  tax offices are now up and running at full speed, with most payment processes taking just a few minutes to complete.

Chapala taxes and fees

Property taxes on real estate located in the municipality of Chapala are handled at the Catastro office located in the main lobby of the Palacio Municipal, Avenida Madero 202, with window service open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As you enter the main lobby find the small machine that prints out numbered slips (fiches)  from the ticket dispenser and wait your turn to go to the desk to present last year’s receipt at the far left corner of the foyer.

If you don’t have last years receipt (It’s OK if you have it but it’s not in your name yet) you will need proof of your ownership like a copy of the first page of your deed (escritura). They will find your property in the computer and make the change to your name.

After your documents are checked in the computer you’ll have a short wait to go to the payment windows just across the lobby.

Tax rates will show an increase of three to ten percent over last year, according to Ignacio Valdoviños, the head of the tax department.

Fees for water and sewage services are  not collected at the tax office, but at the SIMAPA office nearest to the property’s location.

Now, if you live in one of the Home developments with an active homeowners group (Fracc.) then you get to skip this step as the Fracc. pays for all the water they pump out of the development’s well and bill the homeowner for their portion along with fees for the other services the Fracc provides, like trash pickup, street lighting, etc.

You get the same discounts on the yearly water bill as those given on property taxes

For payment of annual taxes for cars, trucks and motorcycles registered with Mexican plates in Jalisco, Chapala area residents pay at the state recaudadora (tax office), located in Chapala at Calle Juarez 575-D, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Most local banks also handle auto fees.

OK, here’s the part I’ve been itching to tell you. You see almost no one complains about our taxes here.

Why? Simple? They’re so low that instead of complaining, we like to brag to family and friends up North and even to each other about just how low our property taxes are.

Why are they so low. Well, they’re based on the ability of the Mexican people to pay. Fortunately there is not a dual system for citizens and foreign residents. So we retirees get the benefit of this much lower tax rate.

How low you ask? Well my own home is 2000 sq. ft. with a 2 car garage, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and a very large beautiful garden located in a nice subdivision.

Sid's Poperty Tax 2009

I just paid my taxes for 2009 and as you can see from my tax receipt reproduced above they came to just 886.63  pesos for the year.

At the current exchange rate of 13 to 1 that translates to  $  68.20   USD or approx $ 88.66 Canadian dollars.

So, if you’re tired of paying high taxes, putting up with bad weather, and fearful of high crime rates come down for a look.

I’ll leave the light on for you.


Email for more information:
Sid@ChapalaClub.com

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