Governor: Proposed tax relief would outweigh any benefit from Crudita II repeal
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia insisted on Tuesday that he does not oppose legislation that would eliminate the tax on petroleum derivatives, known as La Crudita II. However, he said there is no certainty that the repeal would positively impact the economy.
The governor said it remains to be seen whether businesses will lower the prices of products if the tax is repealed. However, he said, the tax reform bill he sent to the Legislature recently would benefit workers and companies.
He said that under his reform proposal, people would see their checks increase. In the same way, small and midsize companies that do not have exemptions are suddenly going to pay much less in taxes.
“Corporations in Puerto Rico pay more than all corporations in the United States and much of the world,” Pierluisi noted. “What I say, looking at the numbers, is that the impact on the economy is greater, the positive impact on the economy and for the benefit of all the people of Puerto Rico is greater with the tax relief bill that I sent and that is now in the Legislature.”
“Now it’s not that I’m ever going to reject a tax relief bill,” the governor added. “I’m just going to ask for advice. I recognize that if La Crudita is eliminated, it would be, well, eliminating that excise tax. It remains to be seen how it benefits the people in general.”
Pierluisi said that if both bills reach La Fortaleza, he will evaluate them with the advice of his agency heads.
“At that time, if they come to my office I will make a clear decision …” he said. “I repeat that the positive impact of the tax reform is greater than the impact of eliminating La Crudita could have. I am simply saying that the fiscal impact of the tax relief is aimed primarily at the working middle class, and non-exempt people and corporations, and that is the bulk of that relief. I have said that it is more positive when you look at it, from the point of view of the impact on the economy, than eliminating La Crudita II. But I recognize that the relief of La Crudita II would also be positive.”