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Toa Baja suspends services amid economic crisis

By on November 7, 2016

A group of Toa Baja employees claiming their salarys. (Inter News Service photo)

A group of Toa Baja employees demanded their salaries Monday. (Inter News Service photo)

SAN JUAN — The municipality of Toa Baja has closed city hall and put nearly all of its employees on involuntary vacation because officials say they don’t have money to pay salaries.

Mayor Jorge Ortiz says the struggling Government Development Bank owes the city more than $1 million, though the bank disputes that.

The city also had its accounts recently frozen by the IRS because of a $1.5 million debt.

Essential employees such as police officers are still working in the city of roughly 88,000 people, but most city workers are idled. A group of employees protested Monday’s closure and demanded back wages.

The closure comes as Puerto Rico seeks to restructure nearly $70 billion in public debt the governor has said is unpayable.

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