Puerto Rico amends tax incentive laws to lure more investors

Friday, July 14, 2017

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's governor on Tuesday signed several measures meant to lure more investors and attract new companies to a US territory mired in a deep economic crisis.

One of the amended laws signed by Governor Ricardo Rossello Nevares requires at least US$5,000 a year in donations to nonprofits to qualify for a break on capital gains taxes.

Another amendment simplifies the application process for people seeking that exemption. Rossello Nevares said that would raise the number of people in the programme from 1,000 to 10,000 in the next four years as well as helping non-profits that are facing deep budget cuts.

Rossello Nevares also signed an amendment to a programme that gives tax incentives to companies that move to the island and export goods or services. It drops a requirement that companies under the programme employ a minimum of five people and adds medical tourism and telemedicine to the list of accepted services.

Officials hope it will create more jobs on an island of 3.4 million people whose unemployment rate has long hovered around 12 per cent, higher than any US state.

Puerto Rico is trying to escape from a decade-long recession and seeking to restructure a portion of its US$73- billion public debt load.

The crisis has slowed the growth of the tax incentive programmes, said Robb Rill, founder of a group that represents people in those programs. He said the group backs the amendments: “We want to make sure we encourage the right people to come to the island.”




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