Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2020. 11:36 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The borders are currently closed, but when they reopen, Belizeans shopping in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico will benefit from fuel and tax breaks to be introduced and expanded along the southern frontier as well as the north, according to Reuters.
Local economies in the north along the border with the United States, since last year, have benefited from the reduction of the value-added sales tax (IVA) and income tax (ISR) and 22 local districts from Tabasco and Chiapas which border Guatemala to Chetumal which borders Belize. The northern areas will see the program extended through 2024 as announced by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, flanked by his finance and economy ministers.
The tax breaks along its northern border lower the ISR levy from 30% to 20%, and IVA from 16% to 8%, along with adjustments to the tax on gasoline so that there is not a major difference with prices on the U.S. side of the border.
Historically, U.S. gasoline prices are lower than those in Mexico, in large part due to higher fuel taxes in Mexico, and the government has long sought to discourage Mexican consumers from seeking to cross the border to make their purchases.
Current northern border tax breaks cover 43 local districts, stretching across the border states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas, home to significant cross-border trade and integrated industries.
This is a time of year when Belizeans flock to Chetumal, as well as Cancun and Merida, for shopping and vacation deals but unless one is willing to risk quarantine and jail that is not possible this year. Estimated trade between Chetumal and Belize runs into the tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars.
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