Tag Archives: tenencia

The Honda Civic Hybrid and the Tenencia Tax

In a previous article, some time ago, I had mentioned that one of the advantages of spending some extra pesos to buy the Honda Civic Hybrid, was the fact that the tenencia (a special ‘temporary’ tax invented to raise funds for the 1967 Olympics in Mexico City that was never eliminated) was just a fraction of what owners of regular, gas-powered cars pay. This was a stimulus to encourage people to buy these vehicles.

Alas, this is no more. Ever since Felipe Calderon ‘eliminated’ the hated federal tenencia tax – eliminated in quotation marks because all he did was eliminate the federal part and pass it on to the states to administrate as they see fit – each state government has dealt with it in their own way.

In the state of Yucatan, according to a Honda salesman I talked to just yesterday, the tenencia tax has actually been expanded to include all those luxury pickups (Lincoln, Hummer, Harley Davidson Ford) which is probably justifiable if you want to justify this stupid tax; however, it has also included the Hybrid vehicles so we, in the state of Yucatan, no longer have that stimulus. You CAN, however, buy the car in next-door Quintana Roo and NOT pay the tenencia tax as their state government did not modify the tenencia.

Seems like we could do a whole lot better in promoting healthier, greener options for transportation instead of lagging light years behind the rest of the civilized world and acting as if there was no pollution problem here in sunny Mexico.

I refer you to my previous article on ‘green’ policies that I would like to see implemented here.

No More Tenencia?

For those of you who do not have the privilege of owning a vehicle in Mexico, this will be of little interest.

For those that do, you probably know it already: in Mexico we have to pay a tenencia, or tax just to own a car. This on top of all the other taxes that one must pay in Mexico, this great land where those that pay taxes (30% of the population) pay for the other 70% who either evade taxes completely – those at the top end of the economic spectrum with good fiscal lawyers – and those who are ‘too poor’  at the bottom, because ‘ay poooobres‘ the government and politicians feel sorry for them.  They don’t want to help them, educate, raise the minimum wage, whatever; but they do feel sorry for them. And so they don’t pay taxes either.

Once again I digress. I was talking about the tenencia.
In a nutshell, it is a tax that is based on the value of the car and decreases as the car ages. Implemented in the late 1960’s to pay for the Mexico City Olympics, it turned into such a cash cow that it never went away.

There has been talk about the tax being unconstitutional and the voices, during the 20 years I have lived here, have become louder and more strident; this tax is obsolete ie. the Olympics have been paid for many times over , it is unconstitutional and should be abolished for once and for all.

In the last presidential election campaign, Felipe Calderón promised to eliminate this tax. Today I received an email that explains that he has eliminated the tax at the federal level and has left it up to each state to decide whether or not they want to continue charging this tax. This is why, in a bold and rare move, the state government of Queretaro has eliminated the tenencia tax altogether. Finally, some good news!

So if you are here in the Yucatan and wondering why we pay this onerous tax, know that it is now in the hands of our governor, not Felipe Calderón.