Sales tax

Is it correct that there is an 18% sales tax on everything in DR? (Food, furniture, vechicles, clothes, gasoline etc). I know there is no property tax on anything less than $160,000 and over that it's minimal like 1% and the health care as I just found out is an unbelievable low  monthly maybe this is where they make up for those perks, still worth it though.

What about when you order from Amazon, is it 18% on top of what I would pay living in US or more than that?

If we try to retire early any where in the US we would go broke paying  $1,000 or more for two people per month for health care....and who knows if it will be worse after the next election😧

Almost always the 18% is built into the price you see.   Foods -  basic foods are not taxed the same.

If your purchases, including shipping to Miami are below  US 200 no tax or duty.  Over 200 and you pay 18% tax PLUS duty from  20 to 40% on average. 

Yup there are some things that are way less expensive here!  Imported foods will cost you, in fact anything imported costs more. 

Housing -  depending where you are can be much less expensive!   

Electricity is very expensive.

Health insurance - much less.

Rum and beer -  now you are talking......   LOL

So when we order items from Amazon or other websites as long as its under $200 we will only pay what we would normally pay ordering from the US correct?

Electric I am aware of being high but I get different answers from different people... Am I safe to think a 1200sqrt villa would be around $150. A month if we just ran our ceiling fans during day when were home (and certain times of year if more of a breeze leave them off), and only run air at night of needed and of course keep lights off when not needed etc ?? Some people say $300 (but have a teenager) and an older couple said $90 per month and they had a 1500 sqrt house and a small pool. Pools would be a lot of elec wouldn't they? Thanks!!

Ok on shipping YES, that is correct.

Electricity -  if it is supplied by the public energy distributors then the price per KWH is posted.  IF you live where it is a private supplier then it will depend on the price per KWH.

My guess is  US 150 is low depending on the number of air conditioners!  And are they the new energy efficient units?   I used to spend close to 100 US  a month with a home based office,  2 bedrooms and  only 1 air conditioner I used at night (not energy efficient type) 

Also it depends on water pumps,  washing machine use,  dryer if it is electric don't use it,  microwaves etc etc.   And a big consumer is your fridge.....

All good information.

ON electric I think 150  a month will be fine if  you are not running AC very much.  We have a much bigger villa, do not run AC and our bill is about $100 a month, some months a bit more.

Also if  you are shipping multiple things in one shipment they have been know to add the total costs and if over $200 tax the hell out of it. So we make multiple shipments all less then $200 for each one.

Food if you stay away from imported and use local products you can get by on about 60% of what the cost would be in the US (this is the figure we have for us)

And "and who knows if it will be worse after the next election".  This upcoming election scares the crap out of me!  It looks like the choices will be vote for bad or vote for worse.  Make me a bit happier I am living here.

Bob K

Yes we would keep orders less than $200 (that's awsome if we only pay what we normally would in US, if we keep under that amt). When you say they tax the hell out of you for multiple items....what if  all items are from the same store packaged the same box?

I hope having a pool doesn't make elec go up crazy! The air I'm not too worried because the Villa will be new and they don't include the air conditioners (seems to be the new trend)  so we will be purchasing them and plan to buy most energy saving units, plus would prob only run at nite and fans during day.

Food we will be fine because we love cooking at home and love eating pretty healthy like beans, rice, veggies. Fish and chicken. On bad days we splurge with homemade pizza and making our own tortilla chips and guacamole!

Each box is an order thus under 200!!!

This election is no different then all the others!!!

Correct the total value of any single box (no matter the number of items) must be less than $200.  Then plan on your shipping costs to be about $4 a pound (this rate drops the heavier the item but use $3.50-$4.00 as a basic figure)

As to your pool you can get solar pool pumps ( a bit expensive but pay themselves off over time) and use basically NO electricity for your pool. Otherwise yes the pool pump and the AC will be your biggest consumers.  We have a large pool and my electric costs I mentioned above does include the pool pumps as we do not have solar.

Where did you build your villa?

Bob K

We are having it built in Punta Cana (we wire deposit on Monday, still time to back out but we are pretty happy with location and price so probably going to go through with it).  I don't think we will put pool in until we move there or maybe have it started 4 months before we move there so we don't have to have someone cleaning it for several months. I will definitely look into the solar heat pump that will save a lot on elec.!!

We just got back last week and while we were there listed our condo, it's brand new not even furnished yet and really turned out nice, but I think we will like having our own place with private pool and used plus our two cats can lounge by the pool instead of being up on the 2nd floor for the rest of their lives😸 🐾

We were going to chk out Las Terranes and Samana but its too hard to get there and not enough vacation days at work to take time off, maybe once we live there we will drive there and spend a few days and then possibly move there.🌴

You will want to check out the whole island over time..... it really is diverse and all areas beautiful in there own ways.

Concerning electricity:

We are a family of three living in Santo Domingo.  I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to our electricity usage.  For example, when no one is at home, I know that my consumption is 2.3kWh per day.  If the three of us are at home our consumption is 5kWh   per day without A/C. 

We have 3 Lennox inverter A/C units (1 @ 18,000BTU and 2 @ 12,000BTU--all 16SEER Units).  It's starting to get warm here, but I can honestly say that the evenings are almost as warm and humid as the evenings in July.  So, we typically run our two 12,000BTU units 10 hours each at night.  That's 20 hours of actual consumption.  Each unit consumes between 0.5 and 0.6 kWh per actual hour of run time.  Let's just say 0.55 each for the sake of average and argument.  That comes out to 11 kWh of A/C power consumption each night.  I read my meter every morning at the same time, and our daily consumption comes out to 15-17kWh per day when using A/C as outlined above.  A monthly consumption of around 500kWh is about normal for us.  We set the thermostat on our A/C units at 22C or 70-71F.  This helps us get a good night's sleep.  If I could set the dogs in the complex next to us to not bark, we would sleep even better!!! :)

The EdeSur (power company) cost breakdown on this consumption would be as follows:

Cargo Fijo (Fixed Monthly Charge)  RD$ 137.25
First 200 kWh @ RD$ 4.44 per kWh RD$ 888.00
Next 100 kWh @ RD$ 6.97 per kWh RD$ 697.00
Next 200 kWh @ RD$ 10.86 per kWh RD$ 2172.00

Total for 500kWh monthly use is RD$ 3894.25 or roughly $85.00 US

Keep in mind that you'll want to stay under 700kWh usage per month.  Once you surpass 700kWh of usage, they will charge you the set rate of RD$ 11.10 per kWh and not the tiered rate.  That's when you are penalized for your usage.  I hope this breakdown helps.

For the sake of breakdown, 700kWh of monthly consumption would be RD$ 7907.25 or right at $173.00 US.  As you can see, the price difference is drastic one you arrive at and surpass 700kWh of monthly consumption.

Great post!!!! The inverter style air conditioners are well worth the investment!

gringonazo good post and correct info.

Yes if you exceed 700KW you rate is calculated from KW hour number 1. 

About a year ago we went from 695KW one month to 712 the next and our cost went up by 75% for 17 more KW hours...crazy

Bob K

I am curious how much is an inverter style air conditioner?  Also where would you buy one in the DR?  And if anyone knows how much a solar pool pump would be let me know  thanks!

Inverter a/c are more expensive and will depend on brand name. Prices I know: 24,000 btu 54,000 RD. 12,000 btu is 33,000, brand is TGM.  I have two of the large units for sale, used.

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