Puerto Rican Activists Warn Tax Bill Could Devastate Island Even More

The House proposal included a 20 percent excise tax on companies manufacturing under "foreign" jurisdictions. Puerto Rico was included in that definition, even though its citizens are American citizens

A coalition of Puerto Rican and Latino groups have told members of Congress that any tax increases on U.S. corporations operating on the island would devastate an already battered economy, NBC News reported.

The group #Power4PuertoRico went to the offices of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as well as the offices of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., as congressional negotiators hammered out a tax bill they hope to sign into law next week.

At issue are several tax proposals; the House proposal included a 20 percent excise tax on companies manufacturing under "foreign" jurisdictions. Puerto Rico was included in that definition, even though its citizens are American citizens. As a territory, Puerto Rico is taxed differently than states.

"If this becomes law," said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) in a recent statement, "you can expect to see more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs disappear from the Island. And the government of Puerto Rico could lose one-third of its revenue." 

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