Paying our Property Taxes

Yesterday my friend Jackie and I took a trip to Bahia to pay our property taxes. Jackie had already paid her taxes and knew the routine so we decided to make it a “girls day out” and she would help me find my way around Bahia. Well like everything in Ecuador it is always an adventure. We were walking to downtown to catch a bus when Oscar one of my neighbors stopped to offer us a ride to the bus stop. He dropped us off right across the street from the bus bench and we sat waiting on the bus. After about 15 minutes a big double cabbed truck came by and one of Jackie’s friends offered us a ride. What a nice trip over the mountain and he dropped us off one block from the municipality. The municipality has a computer monitor set up outside the doors where you punch in your cedula number and get the information needed to pay your taxes. This was not going to be a simple process as my number did not show up in their system. We were ushered into a very small room with four desks and gave my paperwork to the one gentleman. First all my information is listed with my maiden name looking like it is my married name so after putting in Levin and finding only one Levin not me or Joe we were told that our information was incomplete and our property was not registered. That did not make me happy. Jackie knew someone in the building that spoke English but he was not going to be in the office until 10:30am and it was only 9:30am. In the meantime I had called our attorney Floridalva Zambrano and found out that she would be in her Bahia office at 10:30am as well. We walked to the Property Registration office and were told that if it was not in  the computer she could not help me. We walked to Floridalva’s office and waited until she arrived. When we did get to see her, she phoned one of her employees who was at the municipality office and would find out what was going on and come back with the answer. Before noon the assistant walked into the office with a small piece of paper with the amount owed and Flori had him go back to the municipality and pay it for me.

Below is our tax bill:

San Clemente 1.25.2013 006

And because we paid early we even got a discount of $1.28. Our last tax bill back in Atlanta was several thousand dollars so this was cause to celebrate if you ask me.

I had never met Flori as she handled our closing with a Power of Attorney from us so this was the first time we had talked face to face. It was a wonderful meeting, our taxes got paid and I got to meet several of her staff members as well.

San Clemente 1.25.2013 004

I’m sorry I have forgotten the staff’s names but Flori is in the middle in blue and our friend Jackie is in the flowered blouse.

Next we walked over to  Coco Bongo and visited with the owner Suzanne for a little while, then walked half a block to the New York Deli for a sandwich.

San Clemente 1.25.2013 005

We hopped in a taxi and headed back to the bus terminal for our ride back to Clemente. We got off the bus to find our other friends Ken and Lyndell driving into Clemente so we were dropped off almost right to our door.

All in all it was a great day out…and our tax bill was $16.74 I still cannot believe that!


10 thoughts on “Paying our Property Taxes

  1. Hi Happy New Year, glad all is well with you and Joe and your Ecuador experience. Just like to ask your opinion comparing St Elena, La Libertad, Salinas, and Guayaquil. Things like weather, crime, cost of living for 2 modest living folks. When Raquel and i were there in 2009 we stayed in guayaquil and met a wonderful Pastor and family, Lot’s of community help going on and a young Doctor is pastoring a church in St elena and some people here sid its the same or worst than the heat/humidity in Fla. Some say Guayaquil could be dangerous. I am also considering checking out Pereira and Bucaramanga Colombvia. your advice?? Thanks so much Joe Gomez El GringoTino ha ha


    • Hi Joe, Happy New Year to you as well. We have not been in Salinas for a year and a half now, I would say that it has gotten more expence than when we left, more expats, more traffic. La Libertad was a nice city when we were there but remember we only went there for shopping, mercado, banking and my dentist was there so I really know nothing about renting or buying a home or how the neighborhoods are. Guayaquil is big, sprawling, hot, humid and busy…traffic is difficult, the humidity and heat are hard when you are older. We spent time at the malls, love the bus terminal, taxi’s were easy to get, good to use but others had problems with safety issues, our friend Amy was robbed by a taxi so you really need to be cautious. Guayaquil is the largest city in EC, it has it’s BIG TOWN problems to be sure. I know nothing about Columbia, because of the countries issues with drugs and all that goes with that it was not a consideration when we were looking to expatriate from the US. Good luck on your search, I am sure you will find some wonderful place and will make it perfect for you and Raquel. God bless, N

  2. Don’t you just love living abroad? When we went to pay our property taxes, everyone told us not to pay. They said only businesses paid property taxes. But, we wanted to be all legal with everything, so we went to the mayor’s office and handed over our $28 for 2 1/2 acres of beach front property and two houses. LOL

    • Deb, I really wish I had 2 1/2 acres, our place is perfect but to have more room for more trees that would be wonderful. NO mangos, I could not go through what you are going through again. ha ha Well one of my readers, Yusuf is dropping by this morning so I need to bake a cake and start to clean up just a bit. Company’s coming Yahoo!!! Have a wondeful weekend, Nancy

  3. Nan, hello again from Montana. Kari and I are getting closer to pulling the trigger on our move down to Ecuador. Can you please get us an e-maiil address for Flori. I looked back at your past blog on the subject and the email address you have listed shows up as some learning course when I try it. We will probably be back down there in March to look at houses, what can we bring you this time? More curry?

    • Hey Harlan and Kari, I am so happy that you will be back to Ecuador so soon. Flori’s email is I will go back and look at that post and correct it, thanks for letting me know it was incorrect. I would love to have you bring us a Kindle….if you have a little more space for it in your luggage…I could order from Amazon and have it shipped to your home, if you have the space. Let me know you can email me at Nancy

  4. what a great adventure again! sounds very similar to when we attempt to pay our bills in Croatia, wrong piece of paper, name not on the computer, no record etc etc etc

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