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House Taxes in Leon

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Btranquilo22
3/10/2019 23:08 EST

I help out a Nica family in Leon and have known the family for several years. I live in the United States.
Recently I was told by the family that the City of Leon was demanding back property taxes of $3,500 for a small Nica house and, if the family did not pay the taxes, a bank was going to foreclose on the house. When I said that the amount of back taxes for a small Nica house seemed unreasonable I was told that the city government had not collected the back taxes in previous years but now was forced to do so.
On the one hand I am skeptical that this is taking place and am wary of a scam attempt by the family to get me to send some money.
On the other hand it seems plausible given the cutback in external financial assistance from Venezuela.
If this is an attempt to scam me out of some money it is actually more important to me to know if I can trust the family members who are telling me this.
While I could see a situation where a Nica family owes some back taxes on a house it is difficult to believe that the Alcadia of Leon would be trying to obtain so much money in a short time from a family of modest means.
Meanwhile I am being careful not to send any money to the family for this. It also seems to me that if this is a widespread practice in Leon or Nicaragua there would be media coverage and an expat community in Leon or other cities would be aware of it
Any information would be helpful to me and appreciated.

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waltermboyleses
3/11/2019 08:08 EST

The alcaldia in Jinotepe is actively collecting back garbage-pickup fees = taxes....Collecting old accounts receivables is always good business....H2O 212F

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volcan357
3/11/2019 20:22 EST

I am not sure about Nicaragua but in most Latin American countries your house has to be worth over a certain amount before you have to pay property taxes. For example in Panama it is $120 thousand and i the Dominican Republic it is $144 thousand. Also in many Latin American countries nobody pays their taxes unless they sell their property. Of course with the political upheaval in Nicaragua who knows.

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elduendegrande
3/12/2019 08:23 EST

Taxes in Nic are minimal and on all properties, but I have heard of some efforts to collect fines for old taxes going back a few years.. With the recession, you can expect local governments to be looking for money.
However, from what you said, I see NO relationship between taxes and a bank foreclosing. You are not getting or not understanding the whole picture.

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KeyWestPirate
3/12/2019 10:37 EST

I have an (almost) 40 acre farm and pay $23 a year in property taxes if I pay them on time. If I'm late,, it's like $32.

When I bought the farm the owner paid 10 years of back taxes, settled a $5000 lien on the property (which he tried to hide from me). Buying property here requires an honest and competent lawyer (hard to find).

I don't understand the attitude about paying taxes,, but there it is. It's part of the Nicaragua culture,, aprovechar.

On the bank foreclosure thing,, I would think that the bank would insist on taxes being paid, probably put it into the mortgage payment as they do in the US.

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volcan357
3/12/2019 14:09 EST

The attitude about paying taxes exists in just about every Latin American country and not just Nicaragua.

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feliceb
3/12/2019 16:22 EST

And southern Europe! the Madre of all such things is Italy :) wonderful paradoxical Italy ..
Lived there 24 years so I should know how it works..now it is more difficult

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gchrisman
3/14/2019 08:45 EST

Hi,

I just helped a friend on a similar subject, the property in question was 13 overdue on their taxes (down in Popoyo). My mother in law sorted it and in the process she explained there is a law that the alcadia can only collect up to 3 years in back taxes. Of course they asked for the entire 13 years, but in the end the client (my friend) only had to pay the three years and saved a lot of money.

It might be the alcadia is trying to collect the full amount at the expense of "the families" ignorance of the law...or it might be the person in the alcadia doesn't know the law...any number of explanations. I would give the family the information about the law and see how they react...

I can't vouch for my Mother in laws availability, but if you need a legal consult, I'd be happy to put you in touch with her to see if she can be of some help?

I run a small hotel in Playa Miramar. I don't often access the expat exchange, but my contact is on our webpage at sirenasurflodge.com ... feel free to message me.

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elduendegrande
3/16/2019 09:11 EST

Incidentally, as I understand it in Nic. it is a crime to sell a property with a lien on it, not just a civil matter. This gives a buyer more leverage to get the sale closed properly.. Like the final payment, the buyer and lawyer have to be on top of it.

I know of a foreign aid project that funded a program to computerize a certain city's taxes and all parties were surprised to find that records for whole years could not be found.

The 3 year limit is nice to know.

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busman7
3/16/2019 10:39 EST

I can't say about Nica but my Salvadoran wife owns property here where the taxes haven't been paid in years, she got a notification to go to the town hall where she was informed by the Alcadia that the tax bill is $3,000+ and has 60 days to pay it or lose the property so yes it can happen in the CA-4 countries.

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