in advance, and that I had no intention of paying the other half of his com-
mission until it was cleared, he took a different tack. I found out from the real
estate company that the Notario and the manager of Telmex in Mazatlán were
friends. Voilŕ! Within a week I had a signed statement from Telmex that the bill
was forgiven and the Notario got the second half of his commission.
Capital Gains Taxes: The seller pays all capital gains taxes and real estate
fees. Capital gains taxes are 35% of the difference between assessed values at
the time of purchase and sale, with adjustments made for inflation and capital
improvements. The law states that as a buyer you can become eligible for a
one-time exemption from capital gains tax if you establish residency for two
years after purchase prior to selling. In order to establish residency, you must
have an FM-3 (resident tourist visa), and all utility and phone bills in your
name for six months or more. Many Notarios interpret the law differently.
People I know have been excused from capital gains taxes after living in the
home two or more years and by providing only six months of utility bills.
Property Taxes: Yes, the government of Mazatlán insists that homeowners
pay property taxes every year. Fortunately, the Mexican government has never
perceived them as a big source of revenue, so they are very low. The property
tax, known, as predial is a rate of about .08% of the assessed value, determined
at the sale. We have about the same size home in Yelm, Washington as in
Mazatlán and the tax I pay in Mazatlán is 10% of what I pay in Yelm.
During January of each year, the city will make available a tax statement on
website www.megared.gob.mx. You will need the parcel number for your tax
statement. If you pay it prior to the date on the bill, you can receive a 10% tax
reduction. A further reduction of 50% is made for those that live year-round,
but proof must be provided. You can take your paid bill from last year to a
bank and pay the taxes in U.S., Canadian or Mexican cash. Of course, if you
don't have the bill, you will need to go stand in line with a couple hundred
other people at City Hall. Bring a good book to read and plenty of pesos.
Appraisal: As you can tell by now, the appraisal of your property by the city
appraiser has a great deal to do with the amount of your closing costs and
property taxes. It does not have anything to do with the true value of the prop-
erty. The appraiser uses a chart that shows land values and construction per
square meter. After considering the location of property, the appraiser uses a
formula to compute the appraised value.
Augustin Noriega Galindo: I have used him for the purchase of a home, sale
of a home and purchase of a lot. He is very helpful and is usually available by
telephone, and does not keep you waiting when you make an appointment.
His office is in El Centro at Guillermo Nelson # 2503. His telephone number is
Char les A. Hall