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Puerto Rico Senate president to add municipalities to Opportunity Zone bills

By on March 8, 2019

Rivera Schatz says governor agrees
his bill should be amended

On left, Senate President Rivera Schatz (Courtesy)

SAN JUAN – The president of Puerto Rico’s Senate, Thomas Rivera Schatz, said Friday that the bill presented by the governor’s office, La Fortaleza, to create incentives that promote investment on the Island through the federal Opportunity Zones program, will be amended to give municipal governments “direct participation” in the negotiation of the incentives.

Saying that the commonwealth has been decreasing its assistance to towns “due to the economic situation,” Schatz argued while in the municipality of San Sebastián that continuing to alienate local governments is tantamount to “the gradual elimination of municipal governments, which we do not want because we want them to maintain the greatest number of faculties and resources to be able to serve citizens.”

The aforementioned bill would establish the island’s Economic Development and Commerce Department (DDEC) as the agency in charge of negotiating the credit incentive grants.

“What does that bill suggest as it was filed? That the state, not the municipalities can condone construction taxes and municipal contributions, and we do not agree with that. I contacted the governor and explained that we cannot in state legislation offer as an incentive what belongs to a municipality and the governor agreed,” the lawmaker said.

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