Court Nixes New Property Sales Requisites
Judge Says Amendment to Act 154 Replacement Law Is Inconstitutional
San Juan Superior Court Judge Alfonso S. Martínez Piovanetti on Tuesday declared as unconstitutional an article in the Puerto Rico Public Finances Stabilization Act, or Act 52 of 2022, that would have added requirements to complete real estate transactions on the island, and which had aroused opposition from attorneys, public notaries, mortgage bankers and realtors who said that it had “paralyzed” transactions.
Act 52, which was signed by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, aims to avoid the loss of nearly 20 percent of local revenues by replacing the Act 154 of 2010 excise tax of 4 percent on controlled foreign corporations (CFCs)—the federal creditability of which ends this year—with income and royalty taxes against which a federal tax credit can be claimed by these exempt companies, who also may now claim tax credits against the new 10.5 percent commonwealth tax, according to jobs and production created.
However, the new law, created to support the commonwealth budget, also contained Article 86, which would have amended Act 75 of 1987, the Notarial Act of Puerto Rico, to require public notaries who certify property deeds to also submit a report to the commonwealth government that includes the price of the property determined by a locally licensed appraiser, a title study and a plot plan done by a surveyor for all real estate transactions, including property divisions, groupings, donations and exchanges as well as cash purchases.
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