Governor says he will sign gas tax reduction bill
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday that he will sign the “la Crudita” gas tax reduction measure despite the time that has elapsed after the increase in fuel prices.
“Yes, it is never too late …” Pierluisi said in response to questions from the press. “It is a relief in any case and as soon as it reaches me, I am going to sign it and the Treasury secretary will immediately promulgate the regulations that are required. So, it is going to be felt in people’s pockets, I think, in a matter of weeks.”
Meanwhile, before increases in electricity and water rates take effect in July, the governor said he continues in the search for resources.
“What we want to do is try to mitigate the increase that is clearly going to happen,” he said. “Discussions with the [Financial Oversight and Management] Board continue and in due course, we will soon be announcing a particular measure to mitigate the blow from the cost of oil and it remains to be seen if the board becomes more reasonable in the circumstances. We already dealt with the Emergency Fund and it remained totally blocked, but we will continue looking for alternatives.”
Regarding the increase in the water rate to be implemented by the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA), the governor said: “It must be recognized that [PRASA Executive President] Doriel Pagán and her team at the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority managed to make the increase substantially less than the one that the board wanted to impose through the authority’s tax plan.”
“What I hope is that in the future there will be no other increases; that is, that this will be the last one,” Pierluisi said.
The governor made his statements after participating in Memorial Day observances at the National Cemetery of Puerto Rico in Bayamón.