Government proposes cell phone tax to pay for security

The government of president Salvador Sanchez Ceren has introduced a bill to add a 10% tax to all cell phone, internet service and cable bills to pay for increased public security efforts.

The proposal is widely unpopular and is only supported by the FMLN in the National Assembly.  A decision by the country's telecommunications regulator SIGET to lower rates which phone companies could charge by 13% and which would offset the cost of the tax on phone service (and essentially transfer the tax to the phone companies), has not changed the public's view.

 The FMLN is introducing another bill in the legislature which would raise the penalties for tax evasion in the country, but it is not clear how much money this measure would raise.   El Salvador has long been challenged by low levels of tax compliance.

The government has been struggling to find the funds to fight its public security efforts and combat against gangs since the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court invalidated a measure to permit the government to borrow $900 million from foreign investors.


Greg said…
For years now I've watched the FMLN pretty much dismantle any hopes of peace in El Salvador via their role in legitimate government.

Understandably hard to change one's stripes given the rich history of terror, compromise, and squabbling within its own ranks both during and post war.

I find it no surprise only the FMLN is in favor of a "cell phone services tax" to help pay for increased security (throwing money at the problem is likely something they learned from our own "Democratic Party" here in the United States).

It's heartbreaking to see that ten years of civil war with the toll and cost a decade of killing brought about - has only resulted in this beautiful country continuing to be ravaged and wasted by both international corporate greed and influence...and the true color of the FMLN which is the color of chaos.