Cuenca is without health restrictions until new ordinance is enacted; Landlords suffer as tenants abandon rentals; Digital services tax begins today

Sep 15, 2020 | 61 comments

Lunes, 14/9/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
Nada.

Otras cosas –

Titular – 200 servicios digitales con IVA (200 digital services with IVA) – Starting martes, all digital services offered in the country will be subject to the 12% IVA (Impuesto al Valor Agregado). <Let the screaming start about having to pay more taxes and you’re going to quit buying or ordering anything online.> The SRI has published a list of more than 200 items. The list includes platforms for streaming TV such as Netflix, Disney Plus, DirecTV y GolTV; services such as Spotify, Linkedin, and Skype; and food delivery platforms such as Glovo, Rappi, Deliveroo y uber Eats <Start patronizing restaurants that use local independent motodelivery service and save some money.> Educational platforms such as OpenEnglish and Coursera; remote conferencing such as Zoom and Webex; and online commerce and classifieds such as Amazon, Mercado Libre y Olx will be affected. Travel and transport sites such as Booking, Despegar, AirBn (sic) Expedia and Uber and Cabify are on the list.

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The Government plans on collecting $6 million this year and $21 next year. There are 3 ways to pay this tax. Foreign platforms would register with SRI to retain the taxes and remit them to Ecuador which none are currently doing. A second option is for credit card companies to retain an additional 12%. The third is the most complicated where clients pay cash such as for Uber. Businesses don’t see this as a positive measure since it increases taxes in the middle of an economic crisis and while electronic services are being promoted to avoid face-to-face transactions.

Private cars can criculate witout restriction until the city council enacts an ordinance detailing local health rules.

“Se Arrrienda”, otro síntoma que refleja la crisis económica (“For Rent”, another symptom that reflects the economic crisis) – The economic crisis has affected both landlords who are left without income and renters who are looking for cheaper places to live with “for rent” signs all over the city. Evictions are prohibited until noviember according to the Ley de Apoyo Humanitario, but that doesn’t stop renters from abandoning their homes due to lack of income. An attorney said that tenants must pay at least 20% of their late rent to avoid being evicted <after noviembre?> and that businesses have to show a reduction in sales of at least 30%. The law also allows for an agreement between landlords and tenants over debts and forms of payment that would benefit both parties.

Cuenca, a la espera de una ordenanza (Cuenca, waiting for an ordinance) – The Consejo Cantonal had 2 workshops over the weekend to discuss an ordinance that would allow the city to impose restrictions to slow the cases of coronavirus which has reached 5,800 cases with 250 deaths in Cuenca. Without regulations approved by the council, the previous restrictions issued by the city are inapplicable. The regulations discussed would include continue driving according to license plate number, issuance of salvoconductos, and restrictions on alcohol consumption. Also discussed were the possibility of restricting the use of parks, sports fields, and public green spaces with the goal of maintaining social distance; and prohibiting the reopening of businesses that can not comply with social distancing such as bars, discos, and centers of tolerance <Is that a euphenism for a whorehouse which would have to rethink its current business model in which social distancing is definitely impossible? Phone sex? Zoom sex – subject to the 12% IVA of course?>

The process for an ordinance would involve 2 debates and public notice and would take between 2 and 7 days. Starting today, mobility is unfettered and the only restrictions are the use of masks, distancing, and the protocols of the National COE for businesses to function. <So take advantage of this window to drive on any day, and get all your errands done.>

On Sunday and Monday, the Cuenca Emergency Operations Committee was criticized on local media for misleading the public about post-national emergency restrictions. “They lied to us that the local rules would apply Monday mornning and didn’t tell us that it could be a week before the municipal council approves an ordinance,” said former city council member Jorge Segovia. “They should have been honest and told us that there are no restrictions on driving and no other officially approved rules.”

Plan de huertos urbanos (Urban gardens plan) – The Universidad Católica de Cuenca is continuing with their “Huerto en Casa” project this week. The talks will be about urban gardens today, plant health on miércoles, and vermiculture on viernes. <I wonder if the size of the earthworms here (I’ve seen one 4′ long.) is taken into account.> All talks will be a las 19:00 at https://cedia.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJlqduuqurT8vH9DpXdO8yfL50GyOb2fRIPUI.

Presentan casa de plástico () – The City of Cuenca and the Universidad Católica presented the first house made of plastic bricks this morning at the estancia Luis Cordero on the Camino a Patamarca y calle Cojimíes. The house was part of a research project to build a house only with recycled objects. <I wouldn’t want to be in that house if it ever caught fire, though.>

Más de 52 mil vehículos matriculados (More than 52,000 vehicles registered) – The schedule for registrations and technical vehicle inspections for this month prioritizes plates ending in 8 and 2. Appointments will be given to all plate numbers in the 1st two weeks of septiembre to get through the pandemic caused backlog. Plates ending in 2 & 8 can get appointments in the 3d week, and only plates ending in 8 can get appointments during the 4th week. From enero to agosto, 52,048 vehicles and motos were registered. To start the paperwork, go to www.emov.gob.ec then the Renovación de Matrícula section where you comply with three steps, pay your taxes using the Botón de pagos, and get a Turno en Línea. <If you passed your written driver’s test you should be able to do all this paperwork just fine. I you had to pay someone to take your test, then pay them to do the paperwork.>

CNE se disculpa con la población transgénero (CNE apologizes to the transgender population) – CNE offered a public apology for making an involuntary error when it distributed the voters according to sex rather than gender. The mistake has been corrected and can be seen at www.cne.gob.ec. Officials have attended awareness workshops to understand the difference between the two terms. In 2017 the Corte Constitucional considered gender identity as integral to a person’s personality and human identity. <An unexpectedly sensitive thing to do where the ability of a woman to get an abortion when her life is in danger is still being debated.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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