The Committee on Finance, Budget and Supervision, Administration and Economic Stability of Puerto Rico today began the analysis of projects to amend the “Law of Internal Revenue Codes for a New Puerto Rico,” to boost the economy by tax exemptions to trade local.
Among the measures that were studied, was Project Chamber 1374 of the representative Antonio Soto Torres, which proposes to eliminate the Sales and Use Tax (IVU) in the line of prepared foods in order to stimulate the restaurant industry, coffee shops and bakeries.
“We want to do justice to the people of Puerto Rico and give relief to people who have been affected economically,” Soto Torres said in a press release.
The legislator indicated that with the elimination of the IVU after the scourge of hurricanes, “proved that their sales increased, while the money that consumers saved was injected back into the economy.”
The Project of Chamber 1391, of the representative Felix Lassalle Toro, was also evaluated to reduce to 7% the SUT that is applied to products such as pastry sweets, carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
Given this, Soto Torres said that taxpayers are discriminated against, because if they buy an unprepared food, they do not pay, but if you buy the prepared food, yes.
“It is a penalty to the taxpayer for how you decide to buy what you are going to consume and that’s why I set up the project, equating what is food, whether prepared or not,” said Soto Torres, who in turn welcomed the Lassalle Toro measure .
For its part, the Assistant Secretary for Internal Revenue of the Treasury, Francisco Parés Alicea, recommended that instead of completely eliminating the IVU, the initiatives presented within the Tax Reform should be welcomed under the new Fiscal Plan that establishes a special intermediate rate of the SUT. about prepared foods.
During the work, the president of the Association of Restaurants of Puerto Rico, José Salvatella, favored the measures, since the projects would have the direct effect of creating thousands of jobs, with the potential to increase by 191.7 million dollars the net income In the economy.
Indirect effects, according to Salvatella, are estimated to create 8,476 jobs, increasing income by 582.1 million dollars.
Finally, House Bill 1375, by Soto Torres, was discussed for the purpose of extending the income tax exemption for individuals between the ages of 27 to 30 years on the first $ 40,000 of gross income generated by wages. , services rendered and / or self-employment.
On this measure, the Department of the Treasury showed reservations, while also recommending that it be analyzed exhaustively to determine if the exemption represents a deterrent in the decision of a person to emigrate from Puerto Rico.