Puerto Rico’s economy is severely threatened by the proposed tax reform bill being considered TODAY in the Senate. The future of at least 250,000 jobs on the island is at risk.

Sen. Bill Nelson and Sen. Robert Menendez have proposed Amendment #1768 to exclude Puerto Rico from a 20% excise tax to foreign corporations.

Contact Sen. Marco Rubio and urge him to SUPPORT this amendment to safeguard jobs in Puerto Rico.

HOW TO TAKE ACTION:

Call Senator Marco Rubio’s office at 202-224-3041. Fill out the blanks and read the script when the staff answers the phone or leave a voice message.

SCRIPT:

“Hi, my name is [NAME], I am a voting constituent living in [CITY/TOWN] and my zip code is [ZIP CODE #].

I’m calling to urge Senator Marco Rubio to support tax reform Amendment #1768. This would safeguard jobs in Puerto Rico by treating the island as domestic for tax purposes in the proposed tax reform bill. Currently, Puerto Rico is considered as foreign and the tax bill imposes a 20 percent excise tax to foreign corporations. Puerto Rico needs special exemption from these rules to protect its already weak economy and to be able to implement a successful economic development plan. Otherwise, experts project the Island could lose up to 250 thousand jobs.

Will Senator Marco Rubio publicly support tax reform Amendment #1768?”

BACKGROUND:

There are about 50 firms in Puerto Rico that manufacture drug products and medical devices. These are high-skilled jobs that contribute to over 30 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product. Unfortunately, existing Federal tax reform legislation threatens to kill up to 250,000 jobs in the Island. Since approximately 80 percent of medical devices and pharmaceutical goods produced in Puerto Rico are consumed by U.S. citizens, the legislation affects the public health of all Americans.

The tax code treats Puerto Rico as foreign for tax purposes, meaning that corporations on the Island are treated as foreign corporations.

The tax bill being considered by the Senate imposes an excise tax on certain amounts paid by a U.S. corporation to certain related foreign corporations. Payments, other than interest, are subject to the new 20 percent excise tax. The payment is due on every purchase. This means that the excise tax applies when a parent corporation buys a good manufactured in Puerto Rico by its subsidiary located on Island. If a foreign corporation buys the same product from a domestic (mainland) subsidiary, the excise tax does not apply.

This is not a provision specifically targeting Puerto Rico. However, it negatively impacts the Island because the U.S. tax code treats Puerto Rico’s corporations as foreign corporations.

Puerto Rico needs either special exemption from these rules, a reduced rate, or some other specially designed treatment to incorporate them as domestic corporations into the tax code.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

GOP Tax Plan Would Batter Puerto Rico’s Economic Backbone

The Republican tax bill will cut thousands of Puerto Rico jobs

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