The San Juan Daily Star
Méndez Nuñez calls for approval of bill on tax adjustments for inflation
Rep. Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Nuñez
By THE STAR STAFF
Faced with the announcement that the inflation rate in Puerto Rico for 2022 was 6.1%, the highest in 15 years, the New Progressive Party minority leader in the island House of Representatives, Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Nuñez, reiterated on Wednesday that the approval of House Bill (HB) 1576, which amends the Internal Revenue Code to include tax adjustments to alleviate the increase in the cost of living associated with inflation, is urgent.
“Yesterday the Department of Labor and Human Resources detailed an average inflation rate for 2022 of 6.1%, the highest since the first decade of this century,” Méndez said. “It was also revealed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the food line experienced a vertical increase of 11%. Now more than ever, the approval of HB 1576 is needed, which increases the limits of deduction of mortgage interest, as well as contributions to individual retirement systems and educational accounts. It also increases the deduction for dependents, thus giving real relief to our people.”
According to the bill, a tax discount program would be established for the year that ended Dec. 31, 2022. Payments to taxpayers would be made twice, on June 30 of this year for those who file on or before April 17, and on Jan. 31, 2024 for those who submit the form on Oct. 15 through the extension mechanism.
“All indices have risen dramatically, such as education at 3.1%, health care at nearly 2% and even clothing (1.9%),” the former House speaker said. “This bill comes to address a pressing need, given the reality we are experiencing with this historic inflation caused by the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, and the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, among other factors. The relief contained in the measure is necessary and the Legislature can make it a reality before the end of February and thus enter the normal payroll cycle …”
“I have discussed this issue with the Speaker of the House [Rep. Rafael Hernández Montañez], co-author of the measure, as well as with other legislators and we are in tune with the importance of it,” added the District 36 lawmaker (Río Grande, Luquillo, Fajardo, Ceiba, Vieques and Culebra).
The bill has been under evaluation by the House Finance and Budget Committee since Jan. 9.