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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor doesn’t rule out a special bonus for public corporation employees

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday he is evaluating alternatives for paying the special bonus to employees of public corporations.

“Whether it’s federal funds or state funds, [we’re trying] to see if we can give any kind of bonus to those who didn’t receive the bonus, but we’re still in the process of evaluating availability of funds,” the governor said at a press conference. “I have all the desire, but we have to see if we have the funds available.”

Pierluisi could not give the amount he would need to pay the special bonus, or say at the moment if it is known how much -- if anything -- would be granted.

Meanwhile, the governor blamed the Financial Oversight and Management Board for the possibility that a tax reform cannot be approved.

“Unfortunately, the policy of the board has been that any reduction in tax rates or taxes in Puerto Rico has to entail an increase in another contribution or income; that is, that the resources and collections of the government cannot be affected in any way,” he said. “I believe that this is a very rigid position. There are times when one can generate savings in the agencies. In the same way, we can be effective in combating evasion and in the same way we can tell the board when [the government] is exceeding the collections. There are many arguments that I can make to the board to justify a tax reform, so I will not remove myself and I will not rule out the possibility of a tax reform.”

Pierluisi said the Advisory Committee on Tax Reform must in the coming days issue a report with alternatives that can be presented to the board to justify the reform.

Asked if the board accepted his proposal for when a tax reform could be implemented, the governor replied that it would be by 2025.

Pierluisi’s statements were made separately with the media at the end of the official ribbon-cutting for a tire recycling plant in Yabucoa, Once and for All Tires LLC.

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