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By Shandra Keesecker-Rivero
Over the past six months, two volunteers from the Cholla Bay community have met with city officials, attorneys, and fellow Cholla Bay residents with the objective of creating a pathway to help property owners acquire Bank Trusts, as applicable, and normalize their properties.
Tavane McCombs and Jerry Caballero have spearheaded this non-profit movement to help folk in Cholla Bay get out of arrears with the City while ensuring Bank Trust applications are in order. Why are Bank Trusts so important? According to the local chapter of AMPI (Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals), prior to 1973, under Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution, foreigners were not allowed to hold legal title or exercise direct rights to real property in an area within 64 miles of Mexico’s borders and 32 miles of its coasts. However, laws passed in 1973 and 1993 have made it possible for foreigners, foreign firms and Mexican firms with foreign participation to acquire interests in coastal real estate through a bank trust (Fideicomiso).
McCombs and Caballero point out that simply being up to date with property taxes, and possessing a sales contract, is not sufficient as a Bank Trust (fideicomiso) is required by foreign nationals holding property in this area. A letter issued to McCombs and Caballero by City Income Director Jesús M. García Gomes explains there are approximately 600 properties in Cholla Bay not registered or normalized as required by Mexican law. In addition, there are a large number of properties in arrears for municipal and/or Federal Zone taxes. García highlights, “It is important to us as a Municipal Administration that all citizens who acquire properties in this municipality, whether foreign or national, have legal certainty about their purchases”. The same letter points out, “The Municipal Administration intends to proceed with legal means on the collection of back taxes on each property in arrears.”
Through their meetings with City officials, McCombs and Caballero have garnered the support of the Municipal Administration to help inform others in the Cholla Bay area as to how to best address their judicial situation regarding properties. If you hold one of the affected 600 properties in Cholla, and would like information about applying for your Bank Trust, have taxes in arrears, and/or need to start the rectification process, please contact (non-profit volunteers):
Tavane McCombs Tmixer1968@yahoo.com or Jerry Caballero firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, City Income Director García Gomes concludes his letter by stating, “We invite all concerned property owners to visit the new Municipal Tax Collection Center where the MUNICIPAL TREASURY may be found, as well as the following Municipal Offices: Property Registry Office, Income Office, as well as Federal Zone, Inspection and Monitoring. We are here in order to respectfully address any clarifications, doubts, or concerns you may have.”