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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Lawmaker warns LUMA Energy not to pass tax hikes on to customers

By The Star Staff

“It was the only decision that could be made,” said the New Progressive minority leader in the island House of Representatives, Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Nuñez, regarding Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) Secretary Manuel Cidre Miranda’s rejection of the draft of a decree that would grant a 75% exemption to LUMA Energy LLC from the payment of municipal taxes. which would have had an impact of over $600 million on towns’ coffers.

Méndez Nuñez also warned LUMA not to try to pass some of those taxes on to energy consumers.

“The only way forward for the DDEC was to reverse the proposed decree to LUMA Energy of 75% in municipal taxes. Everyone was against it, so it was the only decision that could be made,” the former House speaker said. “The Mayors Federation recommended that its membership objected to this proposal when it arrived. After we made public this ill-advised request for a decree, others joined the request for rejection and today we see the result of all those statements.”

On April 22, Mayors Federation Executive Director Axel Roque Gracía sent a letter warning about the “draft of the Luma Energy Decree.” According to the letter, DDEC notified several municipalities that are evaluating granting the decree under the protection of Law 60-2019 (case number 2023-Act60/2071.01-000152).

“We have heard statements from some LUMA executives about how they could evaluate the possibility of increasing costs to the consumer to pay for the fact that they were not given the decree,” Méndez Nuñez said. “About that we only say that they better not do it; do not try it. We will be keeping a close eye on their actions in relation to this decision.”

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