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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Johnny Méndez wants to see budget surplus returned to the people

The minority leader for the NPP delegation in the House of Representatives, Carlos ‘Johnny’ Mendez.

By The Star Staff

The minority leader for the New Progressive Party delegation in the House of Representatives, Carlos ‘Johnny’ Mendez, said that it is imperative to find a mechanism to return to the people the surpluses in collections recorded by the Treasury Department during this year, including the $100.2 million more collected in the month of November.

“The increase in funds is good news, it means that the Treasury Department’s enforcement measures have worked. However, we have to find a way to return these million-dollar excesses to the people, to our working class and to small and medium-sized enterprises, the backbone of our economy. Those excesses can be used to mitigate any imposition by the Financial Oversight and Management Board on the Puerto Rico Debt Adjustment Plan. We can also outline a platform that allows our people to receive these excesses directly,” said the NPP leader in the Lower House.

Yesterday, the Treasury Department reported that for the month of November they collected the figure of $917.9 million, about $100.2 million over last year’s amount. This represents the sixth consecutive month in which collections exceed tax projections. In fact, November’s collections were about $125.1 million over the estimate ($792.8 million).

“There is no need for the government to keep this excess, it has to be returned to the people. We’re talking about a lot of money. In total, from January to November, the Treasury has recorded the figure of $11,962.8 million in collections, 3.6% more than in 2022. Individual tax collections rose by about 7% to $200.6 million. The time has come to return those excesses to the People, thus stimulating our SMEs to expand operations and create new jobs. The time has come for the working class of Puerto Rico to receive the benefits of the economy boosted by federal funds associated with reconstruction,” added the former House speaker.

“With more obstacles and far fewer resources, in the past four years we lowered the tax burden on people, eliminating the ‘B2B’ (2015 tax on transactions between merchants and merchants, as well as professional services) and the national patent. We reinstated the seniors’ bonus to do justice to our seniors, we approved the elimination of the inventory tax, among other actions. With these excesses, it is time for the people to benefit directly,” he said.

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