US Union to Congress: ‘Time to tax the millionaires in Puerto Rico’

The union said that the increase of beneficiaries of the law on the island has caused rental and property prices to increase across the board, thus resulting in economic displacement. (Image via Shutterstock).

By Mivette Vega

November 2, 2023

The Illinois chapter of the union made the request to discourage economic disparities on the island.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sent a letter to the leaders of Congress asking them to supervise Law 22 (Act 60), which grants a tax break to foreigners who move to Puerto Rico.

The Illinois chapter of the union that represents millions of workers in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico made the request to discourage economic disparities on the island.

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“The relocation of wealthy individuals to Puerto Rico to avoid federal income taxes undermines the essential tax base for financing public services. Such practices deprive our island of crucial revenue, affecting health care, education, and infrastructure: services that benefit all citizens,” Efraín Elías, secretary-treasurer of SEIU Local 1, said in the letter.

Elías said that the increase of these residents on the island has caused rental and property prices to increase across the board, thus resulting in economic displacement.

The union stated that Puerto Rico’s status should not be exploited to promote economic disparities.

“We are deeply concerned about the potential adverse effects on the local working class due to this influx of wealthy tax evaders,” the letter read.

The union urged members of Congress to consider comprehensive tax reforms that address existing gaps, ensuring that all individuals and corporations contribute their fair share, regardless of where they choose to reside.

The union added that the island’s residents deserve policies that prioritize their well-being and economic stability.

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SEIU is the most recent organization to make this request, as other diaspora groups, island politicians, and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez have made the same petition and asked for action from Congress.

“Puerto Rico, with its rich history, culture and people, should not be reduced to a mere financial haven for the rich,” the SEIU letter stated.

 

Author

  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.

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