News starting December 15th.
New Real Estate Law: January 1, 2009
We would like to thank Mitch Keenan for this update on a new law related to selling property in Mexico.
Any foreign person (non-Mexican citizen) selling property in Mexico will now be required to have an FM-2 Visa, in addition to electric bills and fidecomiso in their name(s) (as their names appear on their passports and visas). The bills and fideicomiso must reflect the property address they are selling, in order to avoid all or part of the "Impuesto Sobre la Renta" – ISR or capital gains taxes.
The FM-3 visa will no longer suffice to avoid this tax at closing. For more information and to find out if you might be exempt from all or part of this tax, please contact your attorney or agent if you are planning to sell a property in Mexico. This was written as a pending law a few months ago but has now become law and, as of the 1st of January, is a requirement. Some notarios are already requiring it.
Update: Decreto 801
We would like to thank Victor Huitron of Mexico International for updated information concerning Decreto 801 (The Beach Law). The news is that there is no news. Decreto 801 is still standing as it was on the day it was signed into law – “real and inflexible.” This law is designed to protect the environment of Yucatan, with special consideration given to the coastline, where excessive construction contributes to erosion. For those who believe that their projected design for either new construction or remodeling is environmentally friendly, but still get turned down, it could be that bringing water and other services to that area is the issue. Whatever the case, it is the potential homeowner or builder who bears the responsibility for finding real estate agents, attorneys, and architects who can move their project forward within the guidelines of Decreto 801. It looks as if those who are making the final decisions are doing so on a case-by-case basis, so expect your project to move slowly through the approval stages. If turned down, the homeowner/builder is free to redesign and apply again. This entire law is now online in a 96 page pdf document HERE.
Visitors By Land or By Sea: Do You Need a Passport Yet? NO
Every year, about this time, thousands of Snowbirds and other visitors to Mexico begin searching American Consulate websites to see if they are going to need a passport for the coming year. The rule still is that, if you want to get back into the U.S., you will need (1) proof of citizenship (such as an official birth certificate from your state, not the one your parents got from the hospital when you were born) and (2) proof of identity (such as a picture ID or driver’s license). It looks like visitors can promise themselves, yet again, to put applying for a passport on next year’s list of “things to do.”
Yes You Can In Yucatan
We just love reading other people’s Blog Rolls. The Hammock Man Paul, got these lyrics from a video posted by Vamanos, who, quite rightly, thought an old Desi Arnaz song was the perfect musical background for a video of the State Fair at X’matkuil. We think these lyrics, from an old “I Love Lucy” show, are the best we have ever seen and describe the life we have found in Yucatan perfectly! Thanks to Vamanos for finding them and to The Hammock Man Paul for bringing them to his blog.
You think that Adam had it nice?
Why all he had was paradise.
Can you do better?
Ha! Yes you can.
Urban Horticulturist: Fresh Vegetables for Sale
“Don George” (Jorge Armando Solís Hoyos) is a 75 year old ex-bracero who learned enough English in his 8 years in California to be able to, as he says, “chew it.” He came home because the “shaken life” of America got on his nerves and he has now spent 46 years as an urban farmer in Merida, with “to live happy” as his personal philosophy. His urban “farm” is located in Calle 138 #59 x 48 y 50 in Cinco Colonias. His crops include: pumpkins, radishes, coriander, lettuce, beets, small onions, white cucumbers, turnips, epazote, tomatoes, Havanan Chile, sunflowers, basil, ruda, espelón and fruits such as watermelon and other melons in season. For expats who are interested in putting in their own garden, we all know that soil goes right through the limestone floor of this part of Yucatan and must continuously be replenished in gardens, but how much does that cost and where is the best place to buy that much soil? “Don George” reports that he pays $1,700 pesos per truck load for soil. Potential gardeners may want to talk to him about how much soil they need and how often they would have to buy it. Don George speaks Spanish, Mayan, and English, and sounds like he is the go-to guy for fresh vegetables and backyard horticultural advice in Merida.
Progreso: Fire on Chinese Oil Tanker
This past week there was a pre-dawn fire on a Chinese oil tanker that had been rented by PEMEX. Within 2 hours, the fire was contained but the port remained closed until all danger of an explosion was gone. It is interesting to note that Progreso itself was in danger because PEMEX pipelines run under Calle 84. In the 8 years of PMEX’s operation at this location, this is the first time that Progreso has faced such a threat. Needless to say, this incident will be a major topic of conversation in the area for quite some time.
Tizimin: The Program “Peso for Peso”
Sometimes a government just gets it right and we are so proud of the State of Yucatan and the small producers of Tizimin for making the program “Peso for Peso” work. This is a “matching funds” program for the benefit of up to 1,000 local producers. The program covers 200 products, including ranching. Producers deposit their money in a bank account where it is matched “Peso for Peso” by the State of Yucatan. The producers can then use their now doubled money to buy whatever they need for their small businesses or ranches. …and that isn’t all! The State of Yucatan has even more “supports” programs planned for 2009. What a great way to jump-start a slowing economy. Our congratulations to the small business owners and ranchers of Tizimin and to the State Government of Yucatan for a job well done!
Moving On Up! Look at Mani Go!
Mani is a small municipality to the south of Merida. Almost all of the fewer than 4,000 residents are Mayan and Mayan is the language that is spoken there. The residents of Mani applied to an international program that helps poor communities design a successful future for themselves – and Mexico determined that, of all the places in the nation, our Mani would be the beneficiary of this pilot program. The people of Mani wanted to become successful without having to depend on tourism to do it. Members of the IDP (International Design Partnership) came to visit and saw the beautiful embroidery produced in Mani. They suggested putting that same design in a variety of linens and paper products, such as stationary and cards. Right now, eight top-class designers from South-Africa, Great Britain, Peru, Chile, Mexico, the USA, Germany and Australia are meeting in Mexico City to develop a merchandising concept for traditional products from the Maya cultural stronghold of Mani in order to improve the local living conditions. You can read the full story of this project and Yucatan Living’s story of the history of Mani.
Mexico Joins List of Climate Heroes
It has been announced that Mexico has made a commitment to cut greenhouse gasses by 50% by the year 2050 and will have a cap-and-trade emissions system in place by 2012. This is wonderful news for Mexico. The world is now watching to see if the new administration in the U.S. can manage to bring that country, at long last, into the world-wide family of environmentally responsible nations.
Bimbo Buys George Weston, Ltd.
Mexico’s Bimbo is one of the world’s top breadmakers. So is Canada’s Weston Foods. George Weston, Ltd. is the U.S. arm of Weston Foods. In 2002, Bimbo bought George Weston’s operation in the western U.S. Now, Bimbo has begun the process of buying George Weston’s operation in the eastern U.S. This huge purchase will be completed in a few months and will give Bimbo access to the Boboli, Brownberry, Entenmann’s, Freihofer’s, Stroehmann and Thomas’ brands of breads, rolls, muffins and bagels. And if we will get those products here in the Yucatan, that will make a lot of expats happy!
Valladolid Wants to Go Global
When tourists fly into Merida, their experience of Yucatan too often ends up consisting of quick trips to Merida and Progreso. When tourists fly into Cancun, their experience of Yucatan ends up consisting of Chichen Itza and maybe a quick trip to Merida. Those of us who live here know that it would take years to see everything there is to see and experience in the State of Yucatan and, indeed, even just in the Municipality of Valladolid. Well, Valladolid wants to change that. Within the next 3 years, they are spiffing up their infrastructure and venturing into the global marketing of their municipality. For our readers who don’t know much about that area, the Valladolid website shows much of what they have to offer. They also have an excellent university and hospital. Explore the links and see just what’s available in this crossroads of the Mayan world. For those who are considering investing or retiring in Yucatan, Valladolid is one of the best bets around. With property values still easy on the wallet, Valladolid is the gateway to Chichen Itza and will be both a tourist and retirement destination in the very near future. For more information, you can also read Yucatan Living’s recent Valladolid article.
Restaurant Profits Down in Ticul
The President of the Chamber of Commerce in Ticul is reporting that increases in the price of necessities has caused families to either slow down or stop spending on things they want but do not necessarily need. The first victims of this economic slowdown was restaurants. Now, the slowdown in spending is spreading to other areas. They are attempting to get people out to shop by holding raffles, but this is going to be a long process. As you shop for the holidays, please think of the producers in the interior of the state and “Buy Yucateco” as much as possible.
Kudos to Sister Míriam Noemí Mex López
Got Dark? Get Light! The Sisters of the Light, a local order of nuns, were having electrical problems. It was taking too long to find an electrician and, even when they could, the cost was beyond what the Sisters could (or felt they should) pay. – and then the Fundación Boxito began teaching a course called Instalaciones Eléctricas Residenciales and Sister Míriam Noemí Mex López decided to take the class. Now, The Sisters of the Light are no longer in the dark and we suspect that the families they serve will benefit from the newly trained talents of this extraordinary nun. We also suspect that Sister Míriam Noemí Mex López will be an inspiration to more than a few young, Yucateco ladies who may want to build a better life in a non-traditional occupation.