No New Taxes

Proposed tourism tax got opposition from all sides

The state government announced earlier this year that it planned to tax each tourist who visits Cabo for the privilege of enjoying our sunny, warm weather and gorgeous views and oceans. The hotel owners were the first to oppose the tax, then the cruise ship association sent a letter saying, “No, we will not charge our passengers extra,” even threatening to leave Cabo off the list of their ports of call.

The governor reacted by agreeing not to tax people who spend less than 24 hours on our turf (essentially, the cruise ship passengers).

The opposition from hoteliers continued. Questions were asked. Where will that tax money go? Infrastructure, said the government. Schools, paved streets, hospitals, sewage, etc.

Who will make sure no money is stolen? We will create a committee, where members of the business groups will participate, said the government.

Who will collect this tax from tourists? The airlines, the governor said. Then the airline association sent a letter to him saying, “Hell no, we won’t.” Well, we paraphrase.

Ooofa. The governor was now getting pissy about their lack of support. Then, a couple of weeks ago, he said that Hacienda (the Mexican equivalent of the IRS) would collect directly at the airport. What, all tourists get in line and pay the tax or you won’t be allowed to enter? Ha!

Hacienda officials came back the next day and said, hell no, they would not collect the tax. The governor kept pressing on, saying the money is badly needed. A week later, he said that the hoteliers had agreed to collect the tax. The hoteliers have not refuted this. Yet. We’re still waiting for their official response. They can’t type right now, their arms are twisted.

The tax is only $20 USD, which won’t hurt our wealthy (and even the not-so-wealthy) tourists. And with two million of them arriving in Los Cabos this year, that would be at least an extra $40 million bucks going into the state coffers. We hope they get this collection stuff straightened out, because Los Cabos could sure use that money.