OPINION: Tax hikes the "New Normal"

 
696Views 40Comments Posted 20/09/2020

With each passing year, Panama sets a record: that of its public debt. This month it stood at nearly $33.58 billion. Last year, for this same date, the balance of this debt was about $ 5 billion less. In other words, in one-year debt equivalent to the cost of the Canal expansion has been contracted. It is a dizzying rate of indebtedness, amid the collapse of the economy due to the pandemic. How long can this level of indebtedness be sustained without the Government having to resort to creating new taxes in order to pay? The dance of the millions began in the Martinelli administration; He continued with Varela, and with Cortizo, he continues. Nothing stops them, because, in the end, it is not the rulers who pay the debts, but the citizens. It is not that it is necessarily bad to use credit to make investments, but we have witnessed the waste, the theft and, in many cases, how unnecessary they are. These "investments" are often the excuse to negotiate, and that is why credit costs us twice as much: interest and bribes. It is difficult to see the result of such a debt. Thing of time: sooner or later the citizens will have to pay for the party. That will be another new "normal".LA PRENSA, Sep 20.

 


Comments 40

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Gypsum

Oh ya you like to make assumptions about people for which you have no idea. We rented in the city and used it as a base. We actually over a period of 6 months explored much of Panama. From Bocas del toro, Coronado, El Valle , Boquete, Santiago, Santa Catalina, Pedasi and even the arm pit of Panama Chitre! We were in Bocas when the lockdowns were announced and returned to our apartment in the city to await the 2 weeks of lockdown to be lifted. It became apparent that the lockdown was going to drag on for most of the year. We watched as the government of Panama became a dictatorship ruling by decree not law. That a minister of an agency was running the country. We left because we could. Good luck with fishing if you even own a fishing rod!

1 month ago
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Oh ya

Well gypsum at least you were smart enough to rent first which makes up for 2 stupid things, you either did not come visit a bunch of times before you moved here or you did not research Panama enough... Yes it is trud world and the second is you think the city is panama, thus showing you never visited before you came. The only people that would live in the city are the uninformed or people needing to work to live here

1 month ago
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General Butler

Everything you said MHogan is spot on. After moving here, investing here, and planning to build something meaningful here it's so, so painful watching Panama commit economic and social suicide. One has to believe the leadership was under immense pressure from the UN/IMF/WEF/OECD etc. but that's no excuse. The world is in desperate need of nationalist leadership right now. Otherwise, the UN/WEF Great Reset is going to succeed and we will all be annually injected, tagged, chipped, traced and enslaved under a dystopian worldwide technocratic hell on earth. Wake up, folks. This plandemic was not about a health risk. It was about compelling the world to fall in line with the Great Reset out of abject fear and ignorance.

1 month ago
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MHogan

At this point in time in Panamá, economic oxygen is in short supply and the elites are busy hoovering up for themselves a gigantically-larger share of that dwindling air even as millions of their fellow citizens find themselves increasingly financially strangled. And things are going to continue on their current trajectories.   Collapse is underway — and it’s a process, not an event. The sad truth is that it doesn’t have to be this way. But until a leader emerges who has the wisdom to see what Panamá’s potential could be and has the courage to follow an economic path to greatness, we are all doomed and all the taxes the government could impose will not get us out of the current disaster of leadership. As General Butler stated, when we decided in Panamá 6 years ago, we saw a potential here and envisioned a Hong Kong type of economy—Martinelli was in power then and we could have been close to that goal had his administration been content with just a small cookie from the jar, not the whole damn jar itself. He had a vision that could have elevated us but greed overtook what he could have accomplished. For those unfamiliar with how Hong Kong was in its glory days of laissez faire theory, what a pity because I believe that is what Butler was referring to. Besides Hong Kong, I also lived in a country that was super prosperous with zero income tax, zero property tax (only a one-time stamp duty on acquired property), no sales tax, duties and import taxes—yes and with excellent heathcare and amenities. Tourism and financial services were all the country used as revenue. Panama could have these things as well but not how it is presently managed. In addition, the resource of the canal and mining could put Panama ahead of any capitalist wealth and the people could forget about property taxes, sales taxes and income tax altogether. First to get rid of corruption, allow foreign competition to come in which would force workers here to a higher level of productivity and efficiency and lastly, start thinking greatness not mediocrity. I will answer why we left that no-tax paradise mentioned earlier—one was a permanent health issue that completely stopped an income and no one can live without money and secondly, there wasn’t much to do there being on a small island if you weren’t into boozing at the beach every weekend. Not our lifestyle.

1 month ago
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Gypsum

We were among the tens of thousands that were renting in Panama and fled to a freer destination once it became clear that house arrest was going to be the new normal for more than 2 weeks. We were renting a furnished apartment so it was just a question of packing our bags and hopping an evacuation flight. 9 months in Panama had taught us that we didn't want to live there permanently. If you bought or built there then just lick your wounds and pay up! No one told you to take a risk on a 3rd world country with a history of dictatorships. The lack of electric, water and trash service should have been your first clue. Dirty trash strewn streets, a bay that reeks with sewage and the oppressive heat and humidity should have clued you in. Panama is no Singapore! Pay the slew of new taxes you have no other choice. The lesson learned here is to never buy in Panama so that you are not trapped there in an underwater property that they will milk taxes out of you for the rest of your days!

1 month ago
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Chepo

He JB don't hold anything back tell us how you really feel lol. General Butler may be onto something, to bad he isn't President here! You do gooders begging for more taxes will get your wish. Some of us have to watch and evaluate if Panama is where we want to be moving forward. Certainly is not the Panama of 5 years ago.

1 month ago
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General Butler

I have to weigh in in support of jbbrown. All of you people pining for more and higher taxes are insane. Taxes are already high in Panama, especially compared to what you get in return - nada. And who are you 'Serendipity' to say we all need to pony up to carry Panama through the pandemic? Have you no understanding of WHY Panama is in this state of affairs? Look at Sweden - NO LOCKDOWN and the economy did not collapse nor did the death rate explode. The lockdown accomplished NOTHING other than destruction of the economy, bankrupting families, and collapsing real estate prices. You FOOLS who think your property values have increased and want to pay 'your fair share' of tribute to a government that destroys the economy and the value of your property ought to be culled from the herd. Folks, this in NOT Canada or California. This a borderline third world country that barely functions, but not for lack of money! No, there is PLENTY of money to turn Panama into Hong Kong or Singapore but most of it gets stolen. The canal and royalties from the new copper/gold mine should produce $4B/year if managed properly. This country could be run on nothing more than that, the sales tax, the corporation tax, and the already existing land tax. This shutdown was almost certainly done at the behest, bribe and blackmail efforts of the UN/WEF/IMF/OECD. Are you getting it yet? If you still don't understand what's really going on you need to wake up and start listening to something other than Mainstream media propaganda. We are in a world of shit SOLEY due to the actions of government. There was NO VALID reason for the lockdown.

1 month ago
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Oh ya

Well this site sure attracts its far share of retards. Tax me oh please Mr Tax man. There should be some kind of IQ test before your allowed to move here

1 month ago
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Jbbrown

Chitre you have got to be the dumbest person on this forum even dumber than observer and that's saying something. So the government has doubled the assessment value of your house and you think that equals street value? There are no real estate comps here! There is no way in hell your house doubled in value in just 3 years!!! Bend the fuck over idiot because they are stickin it to you with no lube! All of you idiots going into the tax offices stirring up a hornets nest for everyone else need your asses kicked. This pandemic quarantine has made people dumber than a box of rocks. Keep your stupid asses out of the tax offices we don't need any light bulbs going off inside these low IQ local heads! Jeesh you people are dumb!

1 month ago
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Serendipity

The new normal requires that sacrifices be made by all. Boquete Kid a 300k house is not modest by Panama standards. To 3 generations of poor Panamanians living under the same roof in a small 600 sq ft house. Property taxes are going up and we all accept that, however increases in our car tags can be expected also. Increased taxes on alcohols, tobacco and household goods should be expected as well. These are all good a necessary taxes to get Panama back on it's feet after being locked down by this devastating pandemic. We should all do our part and pay a little more.

1 month ago
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Boquete Kid

We have never paid taxes here. Our home is modest less than 300k. We didn't qualify for a tax exemption but in 6 years we never got a tax bill? Where is the tax office in Chiriqui? I don't want fines obviously I have done nothing wrong. I am going to try and resolve this now prior to some jackass over assessing my property because we are gringos! Everyday here is a new headache.

1 month ago
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Chitre

New assessments are coming that's why we want to get on the right side of our tax issue now. Panama can no longer wait to get paid when a property sells they need the back revenue now. Just because you purchased a home at one price don't expect the assessment to mirror that. There has been tremendous property appreciation here and that will be reflected in the new values. This is not the Panama of 15 years ago or even 5 these people are all sharing info via computer and just because you don't get a tax bill doesn't mean you don't owe. People living waterfront will learn this first. Planned communities will be second. Be smart and go the tax office and ask for leniency. They were very friendly with us this morning.

1 month ago
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General Butler

Hey there, VeryPanama, you just don't get it, do you. The tax you pay goes into a bureaucrat's pocket regardless of where and how you pay it. You people are so freaking naive it's infuriating.

1 month ago
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Respectful

What Panamá hasn't done in decades is reassess property values. That ought to be the first step so that taxes are based upon current value.

1 month ago
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Respectful

What Panamá hasn't done in decades is reassess property values. That ought to be the first step so that taxes are based upon current value.

1 month ago
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Chitre

So after 3 different offices we finally were able to get to the tax authority here. I presented my information and they quickly found us in their computer. He said we owe taxes from 2017. I said we never received a bill, to which they responded a bill is never sent it's my responsibility to come and pay them. Lesson learned. when we purchased the house it was for family use, residence, but we rent it when we are away in Toronto. They said that rental properties or properties that are used as bed and breakfast can't be counted as residence. There is some kind of sharing between computers because they had the names of our renters who gave immigration at Tocumen our address where they would be staying. Lesson learned! In 2018 we enclosed our patio with security bars and they had that as an unpermitted improvement. I asked what we owed for a tax bill and they said that with fines for tax non payment for 2017 to present, rental property and improvements without permits it would be taxed as commercial property not residential. We have to return on Thursday. I asked if because we came to the office on our own if we will get leniency and we were told yes. so there's that. My wife asked what our home value is for taxes and it's a whopping double what we paid for it so at least there's good home appreciation here. Many people rent their homes here to foreigners' or run off the books bed and breakfast but trust me they know who you are and the taxes and fines are mounting. you should go today and get it sorted out. Here is an interesting take on property taxes here for residential homes. Properties valued from US$120,001 up to US$700,000 will now pay 0.5% on the difference over the US$120,000 exemption. All properties over US$700,000 will pay 0.7% on the amount over US$700,000. To qualify, the property must be registered as “Patrimonio Familiar” (Family Patrimony), or as “Vivienda Principal” (Primary Residence) for the new tax scheme to be applied to the property. (This is an application that you must complete and submit to receive the new taxation.) So someone with a beach front house not being hit for commercial use and with an assessed value of 1 million would pay only $7000 annually in taxes. If you have gone many years without paying then you could have a very large tax bill pending with fines included. I think our tax bill including fines will be less that $5000 but we shall see. They never send you a bill in Panama but they collect the tax and fines when the property is sold so you get a huge surprise when you go to sell. We were told this may change as the National Government needs the revenue now to fight the Covid Pandemic. If you think that you are escaping taxes think again. If you rent then your property is not residential, if you are running a B&B off the books they know about you, if you have made improvements with pulling permits they know! People who think Panamanian's are low IQ are in for a rude awakening because these people know exactly what's going on. I hope our efforts today have helped others in their quest to pay their property taxes!

1 month ago
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Oh ya,

Well folks there is written proof that both chitre and gigi are idiots and should really return to the country they came from. You just cant make this stuff up..... Oh please may i pay taxes because i believe someone who wrote something on a news group. I bet if you saw these 2 they would be wearing earbuds. Pull one out and listen to them.... Breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out

1 month ago
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VeryPanama

Jajaja. Great Idea! Go to a government office and ask to pay taxes!! Oh please charge me!! jajaja make sure you pay cash!!

1 month ago
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Chitre

I think what Gigi is suggesting has merit. It's much better to have some control over the assessment. I think taking my purchase documents along with photos showing no improvements to the tax authority here in Herrera . I can ask that the house be appraised at the purchase price of 3 years ago. This is a much smarter strategy than being at the mercy of some official who can assign a much higher value. I think they will respect my honesty and give me cheaper taxes.

1 month ago
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General Butler

Folks, calling for 'paying your fair share' in a country where infrastructure is severely lacking, there is no national healthcare, and the city is an overcrowded, artless, trash-strewn, mess of broken tiles and blaring horns is such a slave mentality. Colombia's errors need not be Panama's. Panama has no lack of funding with the canal and the gold mine and a mere 4 million people. What Panama lacks is honest leadership with vision, intelligence, and the guts to make good decisions. The OECD, UN, WEF, IMF and every other world-destroying globalist entity is surely pressuring Panama to go to global taxation like Colombia because the objective is a single global authority taxing the entire world at the same rate where no country can compete with another and the entire planet is one borderless morass of exploitable, unthinking, drones who are happy to pay 'their fair share'. If you want to pay higher taxes feel free to do so. No one is stopping you. But don't force your misguided guilt upon others. Furthermore, the current economic predicament is no fault of the Panamanian people. It is solely the fault of a government that took orders from the same globalist entities that intend upon destroying the world. Because this plandemic is a critical play in that strategy. I'm sorry if you have not yet joined the dots, but you will in time. The IMF loan was to force Panama deeper under the control of the globalists and I do suspect there were covenants in said loan to prostrate Panama before these controllers by way of higher taxation and other liberty-destroying measures. What you have to recognize is that this entire catastrophe could have been avoided because there was no valid reason for destroying the economy over a bad flu season. If you don't understand what's been written here you simply haven't done any research beyond sitting in front of the boob tube. My goodness, I'm glad I haven't many years left in this world because those who will survive me seem to deserve the hell that is coming.

1 month ago
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Gigi

I think that the best is to go to office and ask for discount. Here los santos the people like friendly and could be best. Tomorow I go ask what tax will be for los santos provincia y can I get discount by coming first to office.

1 month ago
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Kamala

Seems someone doesn't accept change very well.

1 month ago
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VeryPanama

when something actually happens, talk to me, if not, go fuck yourselves and get a life and make some real money so you don't bitch about how bad things are

1 month ago
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Veraguas

We all knew this was coming sooner or later. The "New Normal" will bring many changes that I don't like. I will try and bribe the assessor to under value my farm. Luckily that's an option here.

1 month ago
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VeryPanama

I own at least 6 properties in Panama for 20 years and haven't paid a dime in property taxes ever!! so blow me.

1 month ago
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Boquete Kid

Colombia taxes your property as well as worldwide income including social security, stocks, bank interest, rental income etc.. they have sharing agreements with the IRS. I am certain that this along with other options are being studied to help Panama survive this crisis. We all must pay our fair share to improve this country we enjoy.

1 month ago
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Time to pay

A quick look at google maps of the coastline between Coronado and Cambutal is quite astounding. There are hundreds of thousands of untaxed homes. Of particular surprise was between Chitre and Cambutal where the waterfront is very developed. I agree that the quickest way to raise revenue during this Pandemic is to target the coastal areas first and farms later. Every property has a finca number or registro number if rights of Possession property. The government can get this money quickly more quickly than most realize. Panama can be saved if coastal properties are taxed. Also not all properties got an exemption and many who did have expired. No more free lunch for gringos, time to pay!

1 month ago
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Rissie

La Estrella has just published the monthly and overall numbers of foreigners who entered Panama between January and August of this year as well as those who exited. https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200920/crece-cifra-extranjeros-abandona-panama The article is in Spanish but the tables are self-explanatory. Americans were the third largest group exiting, btw. The tally should have further broken down each nationality into two categories: entry and exit between January-March and March-August. iOW, you are left to extrapolate. This data may or may not be part of the calculation for selling off property here. Oh, and, General Butler, you did a stellar job of pointing out the mysteries behind the Canal's disappearing monies given everything that needs fixing here. I myself have wondered the same thing. To your lineup, I would add the pathetic state of schools in rural areas. I once saw a picture in the paper of an unstable log that had to be negotiated to get to and back from school. Nothing to grab on to. Underneath the log flowed treacherous river waters. (I wouldn't have made it). The amount of trash in mangroves is also mind-boggling. For one, it's killed 70% of Panama City's mangroves. I've asked Panamanians about the situation with the Canal monies too. The typical reply: those who are profiting under the table have "receipts" to cover their butts. Ugh!

1 month ago
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Oh ya

Jb i caught more rain that fish today. They live for another day. Watched a video on using a drone to haul a line out. Looks interesting and a 200 yd cast i can not do jajaja

1 month ago
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Oh ya

Yes volcan you need to go back to CA. You socialists screwed it so they should force you ro live on it. Plus property sold in panama has a tax break for a number of yrs, i can not remember what it was. 10 or 20. Sunshade that might be why you are paying taxes, your building has timed out. Volcan 1 v for a farm is way to high, the locals will never be paying that to raise a few cows on, but maybe your house is big and thats were they will get you for a big part of that 1g. Ginger is right the socialiss from Ca and elsewhere sure know how to screw tgings up and then take their way with them when they move Texas is seeing this problem now And General you are right on many points. Panama could be a great place but corruption is bad here asvitviscin many countries. When you say gringo has no understanding how things work here you are 100 %right. Lots think its going to be just like home except cheaper. Lots might have bought from International Lying or Cathlean pedalcrap. And jb sorry but i am smarter than to live on a beach, rust, sand flies and surrounded by gringos who really dont know much is not for me. A short drive to the big pond is ok with me, hell i have lots of time being retired and all

1 month ago
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General Butler

What would property owners in the interior get in exchange for paying more tax? I'll save you the keystrokes - nada. No, the solution isn't to tax more, the solution is to tax smarter. Panama could actually become the financial centre it's capable of being if it would resist the bullying of the OECD, EU, and the US and just move forward with a Hong Kong style monetary, financial, and tax system. The models are there. Singapore is not quite as good as Hong Kong but there is plenty that could be learned from Singapore as well. With a canal that throws off $2B already, and massive new copper/gold mine coming on stream there is no need for more taxation. What Panama needs is to open its economy to competition so folks will be incentivized to learn new and better skills and compete at the developed country level. Right now, the level of education, infrastructure, craftsmanship, service quality, and all the other traits of a developed first world country are severely lacking. There is plenty of money and lots more would be flowing in if Panama would just get its act together and be the first world country it's capable of being. But as long as the government is run by socialists and skimming scoundrels who protect the status quo everything is just going to keep sliding into an abyss of World Bank/IMF debt. And boy oh boy you ain't seen nothing yet if this keeps up. Of course, all of this is just idle talk when you have a system that shuts the entire economy down for six months over 2000 deaths, almost all of which happened to people with co-morbidities. It does appear that somebody got paid a handsome sum to lock down and crash the economy, take on billions in unnecessary debt, and set the place up to be looted again, this time by the globalists vultures who will swoop in with even more debt and demand the canal as collateral, which they will end up owning when Panama defaults. This is the plan, folks. Wake the fuck up.

1 month ago
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Sunshade

The problem is not a property tax it's the unequal taxation of some but not others. I have taxes taken monthly along with HOA fees here in my building. Other people in the interior pay no taxes at all. Either all or taxed or none are taxed! I might seek an attorney to look into this as Panamas constitution does not support that one citizen has rights beyond another. Never ever buy in the city you can't even do vrbo rentals by the night here!

1 month ago
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General Butler

All of you gringos and socialists advocating for more and higher taxes are such a disappointing lot. First of all, you have no understanding of how things work in Panama because if you did you would know that any increase in taxes will only be stolen or wasted. Secondly, who in their right mind ever believed that as an owner of property you should have to pay rent to the government, especially a government that provides little if any suitable services in exchange? I've got news for all of you brainwashed slaves of the world - if you have to pay rent, you don't own it. Lastly, let's discuss this debt problem for a moment, shall we. There's a huge difference between debt issued by a country that creates its own currency and debt issued by a country that cannot create its own currency. The only currency Panama can create is the coins that circulate. Panama should be minting as many coins into this moribund economy as their mint can produce and using this to pay for as many things as possible because it's almost free money. But there are practical limits to how much coinage this economy can absorb, which leaves taxes and canal revenues to support government theft and what little remains for investment and proper spending. Now, the canal is an amazing asset that, if properly managed, could generate up to $4B per year in revenue. Folks, that's a lot of money for this tiny country of 4 million people. Where does it go? Why has the external debt kept increasing and increasing while the streets of Panama City need repair, the electricity and telco cables need burying, the sewers flood, the sidewalks are pocked with open manholes that could swallow you up or at least break your legs, an open sewer flows through the city masquerading as a creek and dumps straight into the bay where an insane beach project is planned, and trash just accumulates everywhere you look except along the touristy costa cintera. Folks, I could go on and on but you get the idea - where does the money go? We have no idea, or at least we have no proof, and yet some of you are writing about how taxes should go up and how Panama should indoctrinate a new generation of Maoist tax collectors to harass and intimidate the populace? You folks are insane. What Panama needs is an honest leader who cares about this country and knows a thing or two about how the monetary system works. Panama needs a free market educated, non-aligned (neither with China, the EU or the US) patriot who can make this country all that it is capable of being. Panama could be the Singapore of the western hemisphere if the right incentives were put in place by an honest patriotic leader. Where is he?

1 month ago
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Ginger

Volcan how the hell do you think it's a good deal that someone with currently no taxes on their beach front house jumps to 3k-10k a year? You California linerals ruin every place you move to! I find it astounding that you think someone paying 10k a year in property taxes is going to result in better water and electric service. Clearly you know nothing about how things work here! My Panamanian neighbors confirmed that yes property assessments are coming but their advice is to bribe the assessors to skip your house. A $1000 bribe might buy you another 5 or 10 years before they assess again.

1 month ago
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Volcan fresas

If more people responded to each other the way JB and oh ya do the online world would a much more pleasant place. In regards to taxes I've already had an assesor here at my farm and yes there are coming property taxes. I feel as guests in Panama we should pay our fair share. When I asked what value would be assigned to my property I was told " no mucho". I paid very little for this farm compared to my former property in California. The woman told my wife that our house and 2 hectares would be less than $1000 a year. A real bargain. She said beach properties is where the values will be higher as almost all of them will be assessed in the $800,000 and up range regardless of size. Again I think a property tax of 3k- 10k a year to live beach front is a bargain and expats should pay it knowing they will get better water, electric and other services for their money. A blessed day to all!

1 month ago
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Jbbrown

Oh ya thanks for your concern it seems genuine. I am quite well financially, much better than most thank you. However as a Capitalist I believe there is never such a thing a too much money. My advice generally serves as prudent advice for would be investors or people with their head in the sand. I'm sure that you are a gringo (probably Canadian)who plans to die in Panama as the option to return to your home country with it's Socialism and harsh winters makes Panama an even money bet for you. Having invested in beach property probably in the usual gringo locales of Playa Blanca, playa uverito or playa cambutal leaves you away from some of the issues I depict but not all. I wish you well and good luck with the fishing!!

1 month ago
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Oh ya

Jb you are coming a ross more and more as a gringo that was /is here that did not bring your own money but working here in for example real-estate, bar, hostal, etc and your income has stopped and your dream has faded and thus the always get out now posts. Weather you sre stuck here or already left i am not sure. But for those of us that are retired and not making a living here Panama is a pretty good place to be. You need to cut your losses and move on with your life as it will eat you up.. No boat fishing today surf fishing is in order. Have a great day

1 month ago
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Jbbrown

For sure property taxes are coming. Smart folks will sell and get out. These PRD Socialists are going to farm the expat community for revenue. Panama is becoming the new Venezuela.

1 month ago
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True Panama

Of course Panama needs to raise revenue. The easiest is with property taxes! There are hundreds of thousands of untaxed properties in Panama, especially in the interior. I am not talking about the block hovels with tin roofs! There are plenty of home and condos built for middle class and by expats over the past 10 years that need to be looked at. In addition many nice homes have been built on National land using "Rights of Possession". Many of these are built by wealthy gringos and Panamanians using a loop hole to flout having to pay property taxes. These should all be assessed and taxed. Panama could easily raise much needed billions by simply taxing what should be but isn't being taxed! Many of the properties with tax exonerations in the city are expiring, time to get the property taxes from these also. This is the easiest and lowest hanging fruit because people have to pay or have their property seized. It's almost impossible to sell in Panama so these people can't escape the tax either. It's time to put an army of assessors on the ground. This will provide much needed jobs and Panama can earn more from these taxes than from canal revenue. Cortizo is looking at this already and I'm sure he will take the action that is needed to raise revenue and create employment by taxing untaxed properties!

1 month ago
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Oh ya

Its sad but its not just here in panama. This is happening around the world because of central banks printing money like toilet paper. The worse by far is the USA. They are about 28 trillion that they admit to plus there is the 21 trillion Dr Skidmore found missing using the governments own numbers plus all the unfunded things like medcare, medacade etc. It is no wonder China is using the US bonds and cash they hold buying up record amounts of commodities, they see where the USD is headed. The US goverment is trying the same thing Venezuela and Zimbabwe and the Weirmer Republic tried and it too will end in tears.. Panama needs to live within their means but as long as a few dollars flow to the mostly uneducated they will never hold the government accountable. The term bread and circuses comes to mind

1 month ago
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