The San Juan Daily Star
CRIM looks to register an estimated 240,000 properties for first time
By The Star Staff
Bayamón Mayor Ramón Luis Rivera Cruz, who is a member of the board of directors of the Municipal Revenue Collections Center (CRIM by its Spanish acronym), said Thursday that the notifications the CRIM is sending to citizens are not collection letters, but rather attempts to update data on properties.
CRIM is responsible for collecting property taxes, which are then distributed to cities.
“What the CRIM is doing, in conjunction with the fiscal plan of the Financial Oversight and Management Board, is to update all the data,” Rivera Cruz said. “So, now all those properties that have not been registered or that people have not registered or because there are many and with two or three people [working] in the CRIM it is impossible [to do it], will be inserted into the system.”
Rivera noted that although citizens would have to register recently built properties on lots that were once acquired empty, meaning without any structure on them, that does not mean they will necessarily have to pay property taxes.
“80% of the properties in Puerto Rico have a tax exemption because their value is $250,000 and below,” he said.
The Bayamón mayor, as has CRIM Executive Director Reinaldo Paniagua Látimer, said that after Hurricane Maria, many Puerto Ricans were unable to claim disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency because their properties were not registered with the CRIM.
“If you built, then the structure that you built and the structure that you built exceeds $200,000 or $400,000, that structure, yes, a part of that, in the long term is inserted [into the registry] to pay taxes and that is valid and that is reasonable,” Rivera Cruz said.
It is estimated that some 240,000 properties are not registered with the CRIM.
“There are also many plots and land parcels that were not registered in the CRIM registry,” the mayor pointed out. “They were segregated but not registered.”
Rivera Cruz said citizens also have the option of notifying the CRIM that they have lost property due to disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.