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Shea

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Posts posted by Shea


  1. Gayle, I don't think that's a weird question at all, since I was about to ask the same question!

     

    Packaged dates are available at PriceSmart. I just bought some at the Tibás PriceSmart. They were not there for a while but have returned. I plan to buy another package and freeze them, knowing thst if they run out it will take months for them to come back. Seems to be the case with a lot of things.

     

    As for the palms, I was thinking that maybe they would grow in the drier areas i.e. Guanacaste. Is that not the case?


  2. Here's a link to the article I referred to earlier stating that more than 1,000 public employees make 5 million colones (10,000 dollars) per month.

     

    http://amcostaricaarchives.com/2013/04/central-government-readies-another-package-of-fiscal-reforms/

     

    I don't think I ever said that there aren't a lot of people underpaid and/or living in abject poverty. It's the same in the U.S. and is deplorable. I merely mentioned that there (also) are a lot of people, both Ticos and expats, with a lot of money in this country. And there are a lot of people who don't pay the taxes they owe. The difference between here and the U.S. is that the IRS does a better job of policing and collecting past due taxes. Not great, but better.

     

    This post started out as a comment on unpaid taxes in this country. It has nothing to do with what happens in the U.S. in this particular case. I do believe that if the government did a better job of keeping track of unpaid taxes and collecting them via garnishment of wages, the deficit would be reduced. Not greatly, but some.

     

    Another big issue is the embezzlement/misappropriation of public funds. Cases are constantly being reported, and the embezzlers seem to run the gamut from clerks to ministers. When caught and convicted they are released or sentenced to do public service.


  3. I wish I could remember where I saw an article stating how many public employees in CR make more than 10,000 dollars a month. It was in the thousands. Doesn't matter really. I just know from reading in several different sources (I don't remember sources but here are the publications I read: Tico Times, amcostarica.com, insidecostarica.com and qcostarica.com) that it is a game among some Costa Ricans (not just the wealthy ones) to see how much tax they can avoid paying in spite of what they owe, by underreporting income, getting paid under the table, underreporting income from sale of property, etc.

     

    As for the expats, I agree that the taxes they avoid illegally are a drop in the bucket. The point is that they are liars and cheats at the expense of this country. I read many years ago that one expat reported the price he paid for his home as one cent. I wonder if he was one of the people who complain about the lousy roads, bridges, etc., and asking why the government doesn't do something about it.

     

    All of those drops in the bucket combined would add up to a huge amount of money and the government should be out there collecting that money. If anyone with half a brain had been looking, the one-cent cost of a new home would have jumped off the page. Avoiding taxes is NOT a game.


  4. There is a lot of money in CR and it's not all owned by expats. Look at the high-priced new-ish cars on the road! A small percentage of them are driven by expats. Now for my point: I'll bet a high percentage of those Ticos pay their fair share of taxes. It is considered somewhat of a game to see how little they can pay! If the government were to do a better job of collecting those back taxes there possible might not be such a deficit.

     

    Aso, I get very tired of hearing expats complain about taxes here, when they are a very small percentage of what they would be paying in their own country. Many of them not only complain but they do everything they can to cheat the government. Shameful!

     

    The next time this government borrows money it should be used for nothing else but following up on and collecting back taxes. Then they could pay off the loans and have some left over for important expenditures. My opinion.

     

    I agree with the person who mentioned lowering the extravagant salaries and benefits of many government employees.


  5.  

    Steve ,

     

    You may be right about grunion, but there are a number of different types of smelts,. Still, the PBS program I was watching the other night was referring to them as smelts.

     

    More research is necessary, apparently.

     

    Paul M.

    ==

    As I read your description I was thinking grunion. That's what we have on the west coast. When they come in on the waves t night they light up the waves with their phosphorescence. Really a pretty sight. I once saw them come in during the day on the oast of ghe Gulf of California. The kids who were with me had a wonderful time putting them into a bucket and we all had grunion for dinner (cleaned and beheaded).


  6. Spending some time in each country will have you putting away the rose-colored glasses and looking at the reality. I have not been to Panamá, but I can tell you that a lot of the reputation of Costa Rica (environment, education and infrastructure, for instance) is illusion. There are good things, too. You mentioned no military, and I am on board with that, and also health care, which can be frustrating but is good quality.

     

    Environment: Costa Rica is home of the most polluted river in Central America. Not very environmentally responsible in my opinion.

     

    Infrastructure: Roads are terrible here, not to mention un-navigable sidewalks. There is little or no consideration for handicapped.

     

    Safety: The crime rate has risen considerably since I moved here six years ago, mostly due to geography. Costa Rica is a prime stoping off place for drug runners.

     

    I must say that for the most part, people here are great. I have had people go way above and beyond to provide assistance, whether it be giving directions (they have actually led me to where I want to go), helping me with my wheelchair (which I don't use all the time, just when I have to go a distance), etc.

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