Airport Departure Tax in Costa Rica to Increase by $2 in July

Airport Departure Tax in Costa Rica to Increase by $2 in JulyOnce again the Costa Rica government is increasing the exit tax from an airport like Juan Santa Maria airport in San Jose.  This time, travelers leaving Costa Rica by airplane will have to pay a departure tax of $31 which is a $2 increase.

The change will take affect the first of July 2016 and the new decree was first published in La Gaceta on May 25, 2016 and the new tax will be used to add more funding to the National Animal Health Service (SENASA).

The increase in the exit tax was part of the plan to change the services that SENASA provides in the airports in Costa Rica which include luggage spraying, issuing sanitary permits and inspections.  According to Alex Sandi, the SENASA interim director, 90% of the agency’s budget only spends 10% on operating cost and other expenses and is hoping that the new tax will bring $4.5 million per year that they can spend on improving their laboratories and inspections at airports.

The tax will of course only affect tourists and students and not residents of Costa Rica.  If you do own Costa Rica real estate, you will still have to pay a tax when you exit unless your area  resident or a pensionado.

This new decree will begin in July, 15 days after it was published in la Gaceta.  President Luis Guillermo Solís and Agriculture Minister Luis Felipe Arauz, said that SENASA has up to 60 days to implement measures in place to implement the new tax.

Despite the increase in the Costa Rica exit tax, Costa Rica is still the country with the cheapest exit tax.  The exit tax brings in a lot of money to Costa Rica thanks to 1.9 million yearly visitors that travel by air to Costa Rica.

Most of these visitors come to the country as tourists but also a large portion come as student, for medical reasons and even expats looking for places to live in Costa Rica. Many of those who come to live in Costa Rica choose to buy Real Estate in Ciudad Colon as well as Escazu and Santa Ana as they offer some of the best places in terms of amenities and Costa Rica way of life.


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