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“Puerto Rico Jobs Are American Jobs”

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 14, 2012

Above: Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (Photo: RC)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The United States’ budget for 2013 includes Puerto Rico in several tax proposals put forward to strengthen the economy and create jobs, following a push by Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and Governor Luis Fortuno.

“The Obama Administration has shown that it understands the needs of Puerto Rico and that it is receptive to our message that Puerto Rico jobs are American jobs,” Pierluisi said. “I will work with my colleagues in congress to seek their enactment into law.”

The decision to include Puerto Rico in the budget followed several weeks of efforts by Pierluisi and Fortuno, which included a visit to the White House and meetings with administration officials.

Last week, Pierluisi spoke with President Obama’s Senior Economic Advisor, Jason Furman. At the meeting, Furman pledged that Puerto Rico and other territories would be “fully and fairly included” in the administration’s tax proposals.

There were three relevant proposals unveiled yesterday, all of which treat Puerto Rico and the other US territories equally to the states, according to Pierluisi.

  • A new tax credit would give employers who increase wages for existing workers or hire new workers a tax credit of up to $500,000 per company.
  • A credit against income taxes for companies who move businesses to the US from abroad — equal to around 20 percent of expenses paid. Under this proposal, Puerto Rico would be considered part of the US.
  • A “Manufacturing Committee Tax Credit” to encourage investment in communities that have suffered substantial job losses.
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