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Bill would exempt essential items from Puerto Rico sales tax during hurricane season

By on March 15, 2018

SAN JUAN — Rep. Víctor Parés announced Thursday that he has introduced a bill to amend Puerto Rico’s Internal Revenue Code to exempt from the sales & use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) items that are necessary for the immediate preparation and protection of life and property during hurricane season.

“Hurricane Maria demonstrated that it is essential for the government to do everything possible to encourage our families to be prepared for any weather event, whether or not it [reaches] the [hurricane] category of Maria. Giving contingency plans designed ahead of these phenomena the importance deserved, can make the difference between life or death. Therefore, with this legislative proposal, we seek to provide financial relief to people to encourage them to prepare and protect their property. It is for their safety,” the representative stressed in a statement.

The legislator explained that the bill establishes that the Treasury secretary s authorized to take every administrative measure necessary to achieve the provisions of the law.

The following items would be exempt from IVU:

  • Flashlights, candles, matches
  • Flashlight batteries
  • Battery-operated radios and fans
  • Portable stoves
  • Propane gas
  • First-aid kits

Also, storm shutters, screws, nuts, nails, expansions joints, wood panels, rope, tools and other hardware.

In addition, canned and non-perishable foods, milk, baby formula and water would be exempt if approved.

Parés added that, as part of the bill’s evaluation, other articles deemed vital and necessary during hurricane season could be added to the list.

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