Mayor: Tax exemption will allow HP to remain in Aguadilla

By John McPhaul

Aguadilla Mayor Julio Roldán announced on Tuesday that he recently met with representatives of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Hewlett Packard Puerto Rico in order to facilitate the permanence of the company in the northwestern municipality.

“In order to facilitate and promote the permanence of this important industry in our town of Aguadilla, we have endorsed Hewlett Packard’s efforts to grant it a tax exemption to exempt it from paying municipal taxes and thus contribute to its permanence,” Roldán said in a written statement.

“Exempting this company from the payment of taxes will allow the company to have the economic stability necessary to continue its operations on the island,” the mayor added. “It will also allow the development of other long-term plans that are an incentive to attract new production lines.”

Roldán also stated that during the meeting, Hewlett Packard representatives told him that they intend to build an electricity cogeneration plant that will allow the continuity of operations while being able to offer services to multinational and local companies.

“The investment of $13 million to build a cogeneration power plant will allow the continuity of the operations that will remain on the island, in addition to turning it into a resilient company, capable of generating its own energy, offering economic stability to the company, and to the more than 700 direct and 300 indirect employees who will continue to offer services to it,” the mayor said.

The tax exemption is part of an effort to make sure the operations of Hewlett Packard in Aguadilla continue for more than 15 years, allowing economic growth integrated with the development plans of the municipal administration, Roldán said.

“This is a vital enterprise in the economic development of our town,” the mayor said. “We will do everything possible so that not only this but all existing companies do not cease, but rather increase their employability in our town. Only in this way can we build a better Aguadilla for our people.”

In May, Hewlett Packard Inc. (HPI) announced the closure of its Aguadilla plant by May 2022, which would put about 400 people out of work.

Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Cidre Miranda said at the time: “We are very sorry that HPI has made the determination to relocate its operations. Despite all the efforts that were made since the beginning of the administration, where the plant was visited and retention discussions began and despite an aggressive offer of incentives for retention, it was simply not within the strategic plans of the company.

“However, this is an isolated case. Currently, Puerto Rico is seeing its manufacturing index at its highest point in years.”

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