Sunday, December 16, 2018

Judge rules tax-abatement report for Puerto Rico fiscal board is public document

By on December 4, 2018

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Superior Court Judge Lauracelis Roques Arroyo has ruled that a report on tax abatements prepared for the island’s Financial Oversight and Management Board is a public document.

She made the ruling in a request for mandamus filed by Espacios Abiertos, a group that advocates for transparency in government, which sued Nov. 6 to obtain a copy of the report along with the different tables and charts it contains. A hearing on the case was held Nov. 15.

“After receiving motions from all sides and analyzing the balance of interests, this court rules that the report on the tax abatements as well as the charts, reports and other similar agreements on tax concessions are public,” the judge said.

She added that the government did not present adequate evidence to show that the documents should remain confidential. The state cannot deny “capriciously and without justification” the information compiled in its public doings, she wrote.

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