Puerto Rico Sees up to 30 Percent Drop in Holiday Sales
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s United Retailers Association (CUD by its Spanish acronym) is reporting an up to 30 percent drop in holiday sales on the island amid a worsening economic crisis.
CUD President Rubén Piñero told reporters Tuesday that about 70 percent of businesses reported the decrease during a recent survey. He blamed the drop on the 11.5 percent sales and use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) that recently took effect.
Gov. Alejandro García Padilla increased the tax from 7 percent last year to help generate up to $1.2 billion in revenue as the island struggles through a nearly decade-long economic slump. Critics say the tax has forced some businesses to close and has curtailed shopping.
It is the highest sales tax compared with any U.S. state.