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Puerto Rico Senate approves bill to increase coin-machine fees

By on June 26, 2017

SAN JUAN – The Senate decided Sunday night to amend one of the new revenue measures that form part of the budget to force into conference committee the bill that increases the licenses to the slots.

The executive branch projected needing $924 million in new revenue and presented several bills, including House Bill 1142 to amend the Internal Revenue Code and change licensing rights for coin-operated machines.

With this bill, the executive branch projected generating $69 million by charging $3,000 for about 23,000 electronic machines on the island.

Senate Majority Leader Carmelo Ríos said there were concerns among the senators with H.B. 1142, particularly with the amount charged for the machines’ permits.

According to the bill, as of July 1 the Treasury can impose an annual $300 fee for every jukebox, billiard table and machine or hobby artifact manipulated with coins or tokens of mechanical type, electronic or video exclusively for use by minors.

For every videogame machine with violent or sexual content, as well as every adult entertainment machine, there will be a $3,000 license fee to operate these.

The bill also imposes a $3,000 payment for each screen on electronic game machines manipulated with coins or tokens when the player’s skills or abilities significantly affect the final outcome of the game.

In addition, the Senate approved without amendments H.B. 1133, which establishes that short-term rental companies charge the room tax and remit the charge as sales and use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) biweekly, instead of the current once a month.

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