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Author: Benjamin Bartu

How tax reform affects Puerto Rico, explained

As of the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by the Senate on Friday, December 5, major overhauls would be made to US taxation policies. Several of these are predicted to directly affect Puerto Rico’s economy, to an immediately negative effect. Some sections of the bill will keep things the same as they have been throughout 2017 in Puerto Rico. Sections 4401 and 4402 of the bill provide for the laws on domestic production activities and extend tax cover over rum taxes, respectively. This is nothing new under the sun. The great change that threatens to cause harm...

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If Republicans enact tax reform, Puerto Rico’s economy will be destroyed

On November 29, Donald J. Trump tweeted a message to his 21.3 million followers and the world: “A vote to CUT TAXES is a vote to PUT AMERICA FIRST,” he claimed. Trump was referring to the Republicans’ “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which is getting closer and closer to passing every day. The bill has been subject to a flurry of criticism over the course of the last week: Less than one out of 40 economists surveyed by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business feel it would substantially benefit the economy, and Tax Policy Center claims the...

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How much in federal Taxes Puerto Rico pays, and the disproportionality of Hurricane Irma relief

Federal taxes, collected by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), compose the majority of the revenue the US government makes on an annual basis, and permits it to carry out the social services that it does, in all of its states and territories. This includes building roads, running national parks, and distributing drivers’ licenses to the country’s citizens. In exchange for paying these taxes, citizens of various states and territories receive representation in the United States government. However, not all of this representation is equal. In Puerto Rico, a swath of federal taxes are still charged to the citizens...

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