Costa Rica - Public finance

The central government budget is passed upon by the Legislative Assembly. Municipal budgets are of minor importance, and local government funds are mainly grants from the national government. The financial range of the public sector extends to a large number of publicly owned entities. Interest costs on the accumulated government debt consume a huge 16.8% of the government's revenues. Approximately 42% of the 2001 national budget was financed by public borrowing.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2000 Costa Rica's central government took in revenues of approximately $1.9 billion and had expenditures of $2.4 billion. Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $440 million. External debt totaled $4.6 billion.

The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government revenues and expenditures. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.

Costa Rica

Tax revenue 89.7% 1,713
Non-tax revenue 9.7% 185
Capital revenue 0.4% 8
Grants 0.2% 3
EXPENDITURES 100.0% 2,365
General public services 3.3% 77
Public order and safety 5.7% 135
Education 21.4% 502
Health 22.1% 519
Social security 21.3% 501
Housing and community amenities <0.1% 1
Recreation, cultural, and religious affairs 0.8% 19
Economic affairs and services 8.9% 208
Other expenditures 0.3% 7
Interest payments 16.8% 396

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