All of us who own property in Huatulco pay taxes, which are determined by the Municipio. They are based on neighborhood, square footage of the property, improvements, and other amenities such as ocean views. Technically, they are due the first of the year, but with the holidays (Christmas, New Years, and then El Día de los Reyes) payments start up the second week of January or around the 7th when the Municipio comes back to life. Property taxes are called predial, with the accent on the ‘P’, not pre-dial.
Around that second week of January slapped on the back windows of taxis are signs advertising big discounts on property taxes if they are paid early. Fifteen percent in January, 10% in February, and 5% in March, what a concept! And along with these incentives is a raffle; one simply puts one-half of a ticket stub in the Plexiglas box following payment at the Municipio and shows up on time, in person, for the drawing at Central Park at the Zocalo in Crucecita (time and location are not printed on the stub, box, or on taxis). The lucky responsible citizen may receive
- a 2015 Tsuru for January early payment
- a 2015 Matiz for February early payment
- a motorcycle for early March payment
So after some confusion, which I am assuming was on my part, I showed up the last Saturday in February at 5:00, with the hopes of winning a new car. Wow I blew it, as it turns out I missed the drawing for January but I decided to stick it out and in the interest of local investigative journalism, find out who the lucky winner of the 2015 Matiz would be. After 45 minutes of really loud music, peaking with a recent awful version of the awful 1966 Cher song ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’ and (even more awful by Nancy Sinatra and a 1980’s Cher version), I gave up. Of note, however, were the previously unannounced additional prizes including a blender, mixer, toaster oven, and sandwich maker. I will make sure to figure it out in 2016, so readers, stay tuned. And pay your taxes early!