CRIM chief opposes fiscal board proposal to eliminate housing exemption
By The Star Staff
Nearly 800,000 citizens could begin paying taxes on their main home if a proposal by the Financial Oversight and Management Board is accepted to compensate for the elimination of the inventory tax, according to the Municipal Revenue Collections Center (CRIM by its Spanish acronym).
“The impact would be direct on 60 percent of the residences registered in the CRIM, mostly belonging to the most vulnerable class,” CRIM Executive Director Reinaldo Paniagua Látimer said in a written statement.
The oversight board’s purpose with the proposed measure would be to replace the funds that would be lost by eliminating the inventory tax and the personal tax paid by businesses in their entirety. The CRIM warns that this action would transfer the tax burden from large merchants to homeowners.
“The mayors have been clear that another source of income needs to be identified to replace this tax, which contributes $490 million to the municipalities,” Paniagua Látimer said.
According to CRIM data, the inventory tax is paid mainly by large businesses that operate in Puerto Rico, many of which enjoy exemptions provided by the government.
“It is essential to find a reasonable solution that does not affect the pockets of those who lack the resources to cover their basic needs,” emphasized Paniagua Látimer, adding that alternatives have been sought for over four years.