Puerto Rico revenues in July exceed projections
SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico’s net revenues during July totaled $649.4 million, or $48.3 million more than estimated, the commonwealth’s Treasury Department announced Sunday.
Revenues to the General Fund registered $15.8 million less than July 2016, mostly due to an anticipated fall in the excise tax that certain multinational companies pay on the island.
“Monthly estimates of $601.1 million were surpassed by $48.3 million, or 8 percent. On the year-over-year comparison, there was a difference of $15.8 million. This difference is mainly attributed to a temporary reduction of $49.2 million in the Act 154 (2010) excise tax [on multinationals] category; part of this reduction was expected and was taken into account in the monthly projections,” Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado said.
The main revenue driver, responsible for July’s above-estimate collections, was the non-resident withholding category with $32.5 million. This tax is paid by manufacturing companies for the use of manufacturing patents.
Revenue in July from the sales tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) was $213.7 million, $4.2 million, or 2%, higher than the same period last year. Of this amount, only $91.6 million entered the General Fund, as a portion of the IVU revenue goes directly to the trustee of the Sales Tax Financing Corp. (Cofina) for the payment of bonds issued by this entity. Even with the filing of a Title III bankruptcy case for Cofina, the commonwealth hasn’t tapped the pledged IVU revenues.
Businesses, moreover, most now remit their IVU withholdings on the 15th and the last day of each month. Treasury hopes the new collection method increases IVU revenue collections.
The recently raised tax on tobacco products helped generate some $3.1 million more than in July 2016, for a total $13.4 million.
The motor vehicle and alcoholic beverages line items were also seen as “positive” by the Treasury head, with the former producing $23.5 million in July, or $18.3 million more than the same period last year. Alcohol tax revenue rose by $3.5 million year-over-year.