Properties that fall outside the radar of the Municipal Revenue Collection Center (CRIM, by its Spanish acronym) could represent, on account of taxes that are slipping away from the treasury, between $600 million and $1 billion, assured yesterday the governor Ricardo Rosselló.
If that money were to enter the CRIM’s treasury, it could cure the loss of $350 million that municipalities will suffer following the cutback, starting on July 1 of this year, on fund transfers to the State.
The Governor said that the $600 million to $1 billion could be derived from properties that today “are invisible to the CRIM,” and others that “are unduly exempted from the CRIM,” “countless” structures that have had improvements made that have not been accounted for and other “countless establishments that have not renewed or changed their permits.”
During a forum of the with the Business Coalition of Latin America, Rosselló highlighted that only 49% of real estate property pay taxes to the CRIM.
Afterwards, La Fortaleza noted to questions from this daily that these figures are preliminary and that the governor obtained them from his fiscal team.
According to Rosselló, with the properties alone “that are not visible to the CRIM”, the collections from that corporation could increase by up to $200 million.
“(If) they would pay taxes or were to start to contribute at the same rate that they are contributing today –in other words, 49%-, we are talking about over $200 million that would be added (to the CRIM),” he said.
The president of the board of the CRIM and the mayor Cidra, Javier Carrasquillo, agreed with the figure provided by Rosselló.
But, he explained, were the CRIM able to capture the totality of the properties which should be paying taxes, that would represent $790 million annually. Today, it collects about $608 million per year.
“To collect the additional $200 million mentioned by the governor, we would have to conclude that there would be 220,000 properties sitting outside the radar which could pay taxes,” said the mayor, who abstained form providing his own estimate over how many properties the CRIM could capture to avoid speculating on the matter.
But he said that the projection offered by the governor over the potential collections of between $600 million and $1 billion “is close to the estimate” made by the CRIM.
Carrasquillo acknowledged that adding these properties to the CRIM will take some time and, therefore, the municipalities must make economic adjustments to prepare for the drop in revenues starting July 1.
Immediately, he said they are analyzing all viable options, the last of which, being considered, would be an increase of property taxes.
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