Learn why fuel is so expensive in Costa Rica

    Taxes and subsidies represent 56% of the price

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    Have you ever wondered where the thousands of millions of colones go that drivers spend every day on each liter of fuel? It is common to think that much of that money is used for payments abroad, but this is not the case.

    Taxes, subsidies to private entrepreneurs, and payments to the Costa Rica Oil Refinery (RECOPE) add up to 56% that is paid for each liter of gasoline, based on data from the Regulatory Authority of Public Services (ARESEP).

    There are a number of areas that make up the formula that is used to determine the price of fuel.

    For example, in the case of super petrol, the current price at the international level per liter is 239.35 colones.

    To that price, it is necessary to add the payments to Recope, by use of stocks, pipelines, transfers, staff wages, and of course, worker benefits covered by the collective agreement. As of today, this amount is 45.63 colones per liter.

    Also in the formula for determining the price of fuels is the 9.33% and 1.52% for the earnings payments of the gas station workers, as well as the freight for the transfer of fuel to the service station, respectively. Those amounts are 56.16 and 9.15 colones per liter of gasoline.

    But also there are subsidies and aid programs decreed by the Government. One of them is the amount that is intended to subsidize fishermen, whose cost is 0.12 cents per liter.

    The other is the subsidy that the Government gives to the owners of construction and industrial companies to lower the price of asphalt and gas, whose cost is 8.42 colones per liter.

    However, the highest category that Costa Ricans pay is from taxes charged by the Government. This category is known as the single fuel tax.

    The cost of the fuel tax is 283 colones. Most of this money is used for wage payments, as 66% of that amount goes to the Caja Unica del Estado, 29% for the Conavi and the Municipalities.


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