Senator proposes cut to salary withholdings
By The Star Staff
To ensure that salaried taxpayers and the self-employed can have immediate economic relief from the effects of inflation, Popular Democratic Party Sen. Javier Aponte Dalmau introduced a measure Tuesday to allow a reduction in salary withholdings to temporarily put more money in Puerto Rico residents’ pockets.
“After unsuccessfully trying to address somehow the inflation that has been affecting us in recent years, we realized that at the domestic level we had to identify an alternative that does not touch the Sales and Use Tax (IVU) and that the Financial Oversight and Management Board will not allow us to play with,” Aponte Dalmau said in a written statement. “That is why we are proposing a temporary solution that, at least, would put more money in the pockets of our taxpayers, and that would represent relief from the difficult situation we are experiencing due to the rise in the cost of living.”
Senate Bill 1304, introduced by Aponte Dalmau, proposes an immediate and temporary reduction in the withholding tax while the inflationary situation lasts and/or the inflationary consumption indicator is at 2% in the market. The imposition of the measure will be of similar application in the short term as the instruments used by the Federal Reserve (Fed Funds) with the same purpose of reducing inflation, he said.
The senator added that “the government itself has repeatedly indicated that it is experiencing stability in collections and we believe this means that we should discuss alternatives like this one that I am presenting to help our salaried and self-employed taxpayers without having to breach the outlined Fiscal Plan by the [oversight board].”
“We find it unacceptable that the government continues to unjustifiably accumulate the positive income that we have obtained while our citizens continue to suffer economic limitations due to the increase in the cost of products and services, seeing their quality of life and growth possibilities adversely affected,” Aponte Dalmau said. “I am confident that we can make way for a discussion of this measure and approve it for the benefit of our workers.”
According to a Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority report, Puerto Rico’s net general fund revenues in July were nearly $811.2 million, 4.4% more than the some $777.2 million budgeted for the month.
However, Puerto Rico’s government bank accounts totaled $20.45 billion on July 31, some 1.3%, or $276 million, less than the nearly $20.73 billion recorded on June 30.