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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest For February 10, 2015


From The San Juan Daily Star:

Puerto Rico Farmers Association President Héctor Cordero lashed
out against the proposed valued-added tax (IVA by its Spanish
acronym) late last week, saying it poses a threat to the local
agronomy sector if it is approved without exempting agricultural
products. Cordero said the way the IVA is being proposed for
implementation, without exempting farm products, “would be a
mortal blow to the island’s farming sector.”

“The government is promoting a sustainable agriculture platform,
but imposing taxes on agricultural products would increase costs,
making it more diffi cult to farm,” Cordero said, adding that 89
percent of the food consumed in Puerto Rico is imported. Currently
and during the past 20 years, the farming sector has been exempted
from paying taxes on agricultural purchases, as disposed by Law 225
of 1995.


From The New York Times:

Critical elements of Puerto Rico’s plan to avert financial disaster
are in jeopardy, after a federal judge struck down a law that
allowed the government to restructure certain debts. The law, known
as the Recovery Act, was meant to give Puerto Rico’s public corpo-
rations protections similar to bankruptcy. Unlike American cities
like Detroit, which used federal bankruptcy law to  sort out its
finances, Puerto Rico, a United States commonwealth, is not
permitted to declare bankruptcy.

In his decision on Friday night, Judge Francisco A. Besosa of the
United States District Court in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said the
Recovery Act overstepped federal law, and he enjoined common-
wealth officials from enforcing it. The government said on Monday
that it planned to appeal the judge’s ruling.


From Voxxi:

A week after Puerto Rico is declared bankrupt by its biggest daily 
newspaper, electronics giant Radio Shack announced it will be closing 
44 stores across the island. Calls to Radio Shack’s Puerto Rico 
central office about how many jobs will be lost were unanswered and 
store employees are not authorized to comment.

Five Radio Shack locations will remain open on the island, according 
to “El Nuevo Dia.”  This is all part of a deal made last week with 
investment firm Standard General.  The firm is buying out between 
1,500 and 2,400 of Radio Shack’s 4,000 doors.  Up to 1,750 of those 
stores will house a Sprint Wireless shop in-house, a deal also announced 
last week.


Puerto Rico’s technology sector offers the lowest average pays nation-
wide and is lagging when it comes to job opportunities, according to 
this year’s Computing Technology Industry Association’s “Cyberstates: 
State-by-State analysis of the U.S. Tech Industry” report, to be made 
public later today.

The 16th annual edition of the study, which examines the size and 
scope of the tech industry in terms of jobs, wages, and other factors 
across the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, shows 
that the island placed 52nd regarding wages and 40th in terms of 

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