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US Last thing Puerto Rico needs is hurricane of 'punitive taxes,' activists say to Congress

05:37  15 december  2017
05:37  15 december  2017 Source:   nbcnews.com

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" Puerto Rico is under the U.S. flag and after the hurricane and fiscal crisis, the last thing we need is a hurricane full of punitive and unnecessary taxes on P.R.," said Federico de Jesus, a consultant and lobbyist and former Puerto Rico government official. "We’re not wasting any chances to take a

Puerto Rico doesn't need hurricane of ' punitive taxes ', activists say to Congress . "They certainly turned a blind eye, turned their back on Puerto Rico ," he said . When Congress crafted legislation to oversee Puerto Rico 's financial restructuring, it created a congressional task force to rebuild the U.S

#Power4PuertoRico members rally outside House Speaker Paul Ryan's office in Washington D.C., advocating against tax increases on U.S. corporations that operate and manufacture in P.R. © Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC #Power4PuertoRico members rally outside House Speaker Paul Ryan's office in Washington D.C., advocating against tax increases on U.S. corporations that operate and manufacture in P.R.

A coalition of Puerto Rican and Latino groups told members of Congress any tax increases on U.S. corporations operating in the island would devastate an already battered economy.

The group #Power4PuertoRico went to the offices of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as well as the offices of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., as congressional negotiators hammered out a tax bill they hope to sign into law next week.

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President Trump declared that “ Puerto Rico was absolutely obliterated” and issued a federal But the United States needs to do more. It needs to suspend the Jones Act in Puerto Rico . Congress enacted the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 , a.k.a. the Jones Act, to ensure that the country Under the law, any foreign registry vessel that enters Puerto Rico must pay punitive tariffs, fees and taxes

Devastation from Hurricane Maria set off a wave of migrants to Florida, in numbers so great that it could reshape People protesting in Orlando on Wednesday in support of forgiving Puerto Rico ’s debt and sending “My district has the most island-born Puerto Ricans of any congressional district, and that is already Still, Republicans say that Puerto Ricans in Florida, unlike those in New York who

"Puerto Rico is under the U.S. flag and after the hurricane and fiscal crisis, the last thing we need is a hurricane full of punitive and unnecessary taxes on P.R.," said Federico de Jesus, a consultant and lobbyist and former Puerto Rico government official.

"We're not wasting any chances to take a message to Congress that Puerto Rico is a unique case in terms of taxes," he told NBC News after the meeting.

At issue are several tax proposals; the House proposal included a 20 percent excise tax on companies manufacturing under "foreign" jurisdictions. Puerto Rico was included in that definition, even though its citizens are American citizens and Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory. As a territory, Puerto Rico is taxed differently than states. Puerto Rico does not pay federal income taxes ,but does pay federal payroll taxes such as Medicare and Social Security.

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Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico , home to 3.4 million Americans. Here are answers to questions you Most people in Puerto Rico don’t pay federal income taxes , but they do pay Social Security Two Supreme Court cases last year clarified elements of the island’s status. In Puerto Rico v The referendum was nonbinding, however, and it is ultimately up to Congress to decide whether

An intellectual property tax in the Republican bill is raising fears that it will further damage the island’s struggling economy. Three months after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico , the sweeping federal tax Last month, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said lawmakers would address Puerto Rico ’s tax Still pending before Congress is Puerto Rico ’s request for more than billion in hurricane

The Senate bill included proposals for a 12.5 percent tax on "intangible assets" like a patent produced in Puerto Rico or a minimum of a 10 percent tax on companies' profits abroad.

In this Oct. 19, 2017 photo, homes stand covered with FEMA tarps in the Cantera area, as the banking zone stands in the background in San Juan, Puerto Rico. © Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC In this Oct. 19, 2017 photo, homes stand covered with FEMA tarps in the Cantera area, as the banking zone stands in the background in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The group's visit follows a meeting that Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and several other island officials held with Rubio on Wednesday. "Rubio made a commitment to review the language of the federal tax reform in the conference committee," Rosselló said in a press release. Rubio's home state, Florida, has seen the arrival of more than 200,000 Puerto Ricans who have fled the conditions in the island, including a lack of electricity almost three months after the storm.

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Carson: Puerto Rico 'better than what I had heard' : Puerto Rico : Hurricane death toll climbs to 64 The number The agency is waiting on FEMA to finish assessing needs on the island in order to set a total amount for those Puerto Rico authorities said Friday that nearly half of power customers in the U.S. territory still lack On eve of Jason Van Dyke trial, Chicago activists plan for 'powder keg' verdict.

He said that more fuel was arriving, and that officials were working to get truckers to transport fuel and other supplies. Hurricane Maria caused widespread damage across Puerto Rico , and officials said the Jones Act was hindering efforts to get supplies to the island.CreditJoe Raedle/Getty Images.

Before Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage, Puerto Rico was reeling from a financial crisis and massive debt. Though there are several factors that have contributed to the island's current financial situation, economists attribute the phasing out of a tax exemption bill on U.S. companies as one of the triggers that led to Puerto Rico's long recession. Several U.S. companies and manufacturers reduced their operations and their investments, leading to job and revenue losses.

The worry is that additional taxes would cause another wave of retrenchment on the part of U.S. companies.

Gretchen Sierra-Zorita, a co-founder of the National Puerto Rican Agenda, said the tax reform bill as drafted would be the "end of Puerto Rico as we know it."

"Puerto Rico's economy will never recover from the catastrophe of Hurricane Maria or the 11-year recession that preceded it," said Sierra-Zorita.

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Puerto Rico fears economic downturn from new tax overhaul .
The sweeping federal tax rewrite approved Wednesday outraged officials in Puerto Rico, who said it threatens to crush the backbone of the island's economy at a time when they need substantial help recovering from Hurricane Maria.The bill approved by the Republican-controlled House and Senate contains a 12.5 percent tax on intangible assets that could affect dozens of U.S. manufacturing companies operating in the U.S. territory. Puerto Rican officials accused some federal legislators of turning their backs after they visited the U.S. territory post-hurricane and pledged their help.

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