Capital gains and inheritance taxes under review, may be lowered by the National Assembly

Jul 20, 2017 | 15 comments

National Assembly President José Serrano said Wednesday that the assembly will consider rolling back the inheritance and capital gains taxes passed in 2016. According to Serrano, the taxes appear be a drag on economic recovery.

José Serrano, center, meets with business leaders.

Serrano met with Patricio Alarcón, president of the National Federation of Chambers of Commerce, and Enrique Pita, president of the Federation of Construction Chambers, to discuss repeal or changes to the taxes and said the assembly will consider the burden they put on the construction and real estate markets.

“I believe the intent of the laws is good, to reduce property speculation and to reduce the excessive accumulation of wealth, but they may have gone to far,” Serrano. “After talking to my friends in the business community and reviewing numbers, I think we might need to make changes.”

Serrano says he has set up a National Assembly committee to work with leaders of the business community to find solutions.

The two tax laws spurred nationwide protests in 2015 that delayed their enactment, in modified form, in 2016. The construction industry claims that the increased capital gains tax has caused layoffs of thousands of workers and delayed a recovery and in the market. From a peak in 2013, construction starts are down more than 50%. Real estate sales, according to market sources, are also down sharply.

Serrano said that President Lenin Moreno favors an examination of the two taxes.

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