Yesterday we set out to complete one of our goals for the trip, to get the property ownership transferred to our name for tax purposes. The Centro de Recaudacion de Ingresos Municipales (CRIM) or translated, Agency for the Collection of Municipal Taxes is where you get this done.
I am never quite sure what to expect when we go to government agencies here but they all generally have the same florescent lit waiting rooms with lots of people waiting, standing or sitting in plastic chairs. I showed up to the CRIM office in Aguadilla in the afternoon. Cassie got antsy and left me waiting in line and she went outside for a bit to walk around -as the ocean was just across the street. I was standing in line…waiting…then I started to question if I was in the right line. I noticed that everyone around me had papers that looked like bills….The room with the chairs had people with manila envelopes. Then it hit me..”AH….I am not in the right place!”
I asked a lady if she spoke English. She responded no…So I did my best to ask if we were in the line to pay. I simply asked “Pagar?”. She responded “Si”. So I then pointed at the room and asked “registro?”. She said something to the effect of “Si” and talk to the ”recepcionista”.
I understand more Spanish than I speak and I need to improve, but I was working my way around none the less..lol. Since I didn’t have my “muleta” (Cassie- my crutch) I had to make do.
I spoke to the recepcionista and she put me on the list. Cassie came back and joined me in the waiting room. We ended up being the very last ones to be helped that day. I think normally we would have been turned away, but not sure. I got the impression that they gave out numbers earlier in the day, then stopped at some point.
We waited for about an hour then spoke to a CRIM employee that was doing the change of ownership for us. We were taken into a little space with about four employees, in drab cubicles, bad lighting and boxes piled to the ceiling. There is a form to fill out and some questions you have to answer. They also made a copy of the deed we took with us.
Since we had 4 cuerdas there is an extra charge. We weren’t sure about the exemption stuff or any other legal status issues, we just kind of went in blind. We most likely ended up paying too much, it came out to $38/yr for property tax.
Honestly, I was just glad to get it taken care of. For $38 I’d just pay it to be done. In the future we can just pay CRIM online like the water and electric bill. That would be awesome to never have to go back there again. I hate waiting in lines at government agencies no matter where I am…and when there is a beautiful beach on the other side of an imposing and depressing concrete government building it really made us want to leave. All in all though this wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Here is the offical link to the CRIM de PR site www.etaxpr.com/crim to pay your Puerto Rico property taxes online.
This blog post about what to expect at CRIM was helpful for me too here’s the link.