The town hall session on July 27 has been discussed at length. The reason is that there was an interesting proposal for a change in the Income Law in relation to the purchase, sale, donation, or succession of real estate.
Information from Municipal Treasurer Alejandro Martínez for Atencion stated that the municipality’s annual operating budget, in “round numbers,” is 980 million to 1 billion pesos. According to Interim Mayor Gonzalo González, 18 percent of that (about 180 million pesos) is collected through taxes for transfer of ownership. The amount changed from what it was in 2016, rising from 0.5 to 4 percent, noted in Article Seven of the Income Law.
The Income and Expenditure Law for the Municipality of San Miguel de Allende is prepared in the last months of the year by the City Council, and in December it must be approved by the State Congress. At the July 27 session, it was proposed that Article 7 of the Income and Expenditure Law approved in 2020, be modified “to promote the reactivation of the economy.” The proposal is that the tax for transfer of ownership decrease from 4 to 0.5 percent of the property’s cadastral values.
Eight aldermen were in favor of the change, but a PRI alderman, one from MORENA, one from the Green Party, and one who declared himself “independent” voted against lowering the tax. hey argued that it would be a blow to finances for the next administration. The most solid argument was that of Laura González (MORENA), who cited the Municipal Organic Law, Article 92, Section 3. She argued that approving this reduction in the tax “may affect the amount collected, which impacts the provision of quality public services and municipal resources. Let us consider what we will vote for. We must bring the issue to the work table.” Others questioned the rush. During the session, Mayor González responded to the arguments of the aldermen by stating that “it would be evil to think of it that way. This city was one of the few that gave direct support to citizens. To think of harming an administration would be to have a very black soul.”
In another interview, the mayor said that the purpose of the decrease has no other goal than the reactivation of the economy. The mayor emphasized that with this income of 180 million pesos per year, the administration has had money to contribute to social programs. These range from the delivery of water tanks to construction material, solar heaters, and even direct economic support during the pandemic for merchants, for people who lost jobs—artists, and so on. He remarked that at least 100 million pesos have gone to the anti-Covid programs in the city.
He continued, saying that regarding the change in Article Seven of the Income and Expenditure Law for the Municipality of San Miguel de Allende, fiscal year 2020, it must still be approved by the State Congress. It will then be published in the Official Newspaper, and then it will become applicable. The incoming administration, with its full autonomy, will be able to raise the tax again or leave it as is.