Lawmaker seeks to extend moratorium on gasoline excise tax
By John McPhaul
Rep. Yashira Lebrón Rodríguez announced the holding of a meeting with gasoline retailers and heads of various agencies, including the Treasury Department, to study the possibility of extending the moratorium on the excise tax payment on gasoline and diesel, better known as “la crudita.”
“This moratorium initiative on ‘crudita’ was the original idea of our [New Progressive Party minority leader], Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez, which had the effect of reducing the price of gasoline at the pumps,” the Bayamón legislator said. “Unfortunately, on August 21, this relief that helped our people so much in very difficult times ended. It is time to seek solutions and the best would be to extend this reduction for another 45 days.”
“We want to see what can be done, because the reality is that the price of a barrel of oil, although it fell from … $133.00, to less than $95.00, it is no less true that winter is approaching, a time when costs tend to rise by over 5% and with Russia’s war against Ukraine, we expect that increase to be higher,” added Lebrón Rodríguez, who said she would provide details of the meeting in the coming days. “That oil is bought now, that is why it is important to look for alternatives to reduce the price of gasoline.”
The initial moratorium on “la crudita” began on July 6 and ended four days ago.
Among those summoned to the meeting are the heads of the departments of Economic Development and Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority. In addition, the lawmaker will extend a meeting invitation to the directors of the Committee of Gasoline Stations of the United Center of Retailers and the Association of Gasoline Retailers.
According to reports and market studies, the price of gasoline is determined by four factors: the cost of a barrel of oil, which represents 53 percent; taxes and contributions, 17 percent; transportation and marketing with 18 percent and the oil refining process, which represents 12 percent.
As of Wednesday the price of a barrel of unrefined oil was around $94.28.
Senate Joint Resolution 18-2022 authorized the Joint Underwriting Association to issue a dividend of $50 million and for the Treasury Department to impose a 50 percent contribution, which generated $25 million.