Published On: Sat, Dec 3rd, 2016

Opinion: Beware the gringo tax

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I know I will always be considered an extranjero while mingling among the masses here in my adopted country.

Being on the other side of cultural prejudice, as an exploited minority, is something that is always lurking in the cavernous recesses of what’s left of my mind. However, an incident four years ago clarified the murky issue of the gringo tax; the higher cost of goods and services for foreigners.

The Mexican consumer protection agency, Profeco, requires all merchants to clearly display the cost of their goods, but this is Mexico where even simple traffic laws are rarely enforced. So, when unscrupulous merchants see an opportunity to make a few extra bucks from an unsuspecting Anglo, they are not deterred by any pesky regulations.



Bartering with roving vendors or haggling with the owner of a curio/t-shirt shop is standard fare for both the haggler and the hagglee. Both parties will attempt to best the other, and both know a gringo tax is in included in the starting price.

However, when you deal with an established, mainstream, retail business, a bit of professionalism is to be expected without regard to the nationality of the customer.

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Yucatan Times.




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