By The Star Staff
Governor Pedro Rafael Pierluisi Urrutia insisted on Monday that if the Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) goes to federal court to prevent changes to the Internal Revenue Code from being implemented, they will prevail. Therefore, his fiscal team maintains the conversations with the fiscal entity created under the PROMESA Law to save part of the measure.
“Today the staff, the Government’s fiscal team, are meeting in constant conversation with their counterparts on the Board. As I indicated yesterday and reiterated today, save part of the tax relief that the Legislative Assembly approved. The Board is objecting and given the significant fiscal impact of the measure, it is important that we reach an agreement with the Board and avoid litigation. Which obviously would be losing and would entail an enormous expenditure of Government resources. And also, we would be left without any relief. The measure itself establishes that if the Board objects to the measure, that the reliefs included in it are left without effect in this next year, until then the matter is clarified in court or in any other way,” the governor said to questions. from the press.
“We are in conversation with the Board, not to say negotiation. To see how much relief it allows. And I am inclined to emphasize that at least they give way to the relief for the working middle class that the project includes,” he added.
“I think that this has to be resolved in a matter of a couple of days because time is of the essence, that is, the measure, the term that I have of 30 days, if I remember correctly, I think it expires on Saturday, but the Board He is telling me that if I sign it he will go to court. What I am trying to do is that instead of ending with that, that the Board obviously commits and it is public and you find out, the people find out about granting, part of the reliefs included in the measure, that is what I am searching,” he said.
The president of the Board, David Skeel, anticipated on Saturday that if the governor signs the draft amendments to the Internal Revenue Code, they will use all available mechanisms to stop its implementation.
“The Board reserves all of its rights, including the right to take action to nullify House Bill 1839 should it be enacted in violation of PROMESA. We hope that such actions are unnecessary,” Skeel said in written statements.
“The Board determined that House Bill 1839, which represents one of the largest tax cuts in the recent history of Puerto Rico, and which comes just one year after Puerto Rico emerges from bankruptcy, harms and frustrates the PROMISE purposes. Consequently, the Government is prohibited from enacting, implementing or enforcing the measure,” he added.
However, Skeel informed the governor that they are willing to meet “with him and the Legislative Assembly to work together to identify the resources that allow for possible non-recurring tax relief that will benefit taxpayers in this fiscal year, within the framework of the spending priorities already established by the Government.”