Puerto Rico’s governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla presented his new budget for the Commonwealth on Thursday. Caribbean Business reported on the details:
Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla unveiled a $9.83 billion operating budget Thursday night during a state of the commonwealth address in which he pledged to reduce crime, create jobs, boost school attendance and expand the U.S. territory’s tourism sector.
The proposed spending package is $783 million more than the current budget, which will be covered by new revenue and $200 million in deficit financing, he said.
García Padilla said that beginning in December, the sales & use tax (IVU by its Spanish initials) will be lowered to 6.5 percent from the current 7 percent level, without impacting billions of dollars in outstanding bonds backed by the tax.
The proposal was being undertaken in tandem with measures to widen the base of the IVU, eliminating some exemptions, which would end up raising additional revenue. The plan would continue to exempt items including prescription medicine, books and non-processed foods.