Puerto Rico’s April revenues come in 24% above projections


Puerto Rico’s April General Fund net revenues came in 24% above projections made in October.

Through the first 10 months of the fiscal year, General Fund net revenues have come in 11% above October projections, the office of the governor said in a press statement on Friday.

Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado Gautier said April’s strong individual and corporate tax revenues were do to a stronger than expected economy.

“Our government works tirelessly to achieve the economic recovery that Puerto Rico needs,” said Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. “The people have begun to show its confidence to the Department of Treasury.”

The April take of $1.764 billion was the biggest for any month in Puerto Rico’s history, according to a statement from the governor’s office. April is always the highest tax collection month since it is the month of individual and corporate tax filings.

On Oct. 23, the Treasury revised its projections for fiscal year revenues upwards and its new projection for April was $1.42 billion. April’s performance was helped by corporate tax revenues coming in $245 million, or 61%, higher than projections.

Through the first 10 months of the year, the General Fund revenue categories that have the greatest dollar exceedances over projections are corporate taxes with $512 million and foreign corporate taxes with $170 million. The former was 33% above projections and the latter was 12% above them.

Compared with corporate and income taxes in April 2018, these categories were up in April 2019 by $165 million (25%) and $79 million (18%). Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Raul Maldonado Gautier attributed the increase to the unexpectedly strong economy.

In April 2018 Puerto Rico was still in the direct aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which hit September 2017, and much of the island still didn’t have electricity.

The U.S. Senate approved 85 to 8 a disaster relief bill that directed more than $9 billion to to the island. On Friday a U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) indicated his opposition to the current form of the bill. In response the House Republican leadership postponed a vote on the measure until early June, according to CBSnews.com.

The Puerto Rico Oversight Board released a statement on Friday that said: “The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico welcomes the United State Senate’s vote to pass the disaster relief bill that would provide more than $900 million of much needed financial aid to Puerto Rico, which has suffered unimaginable pain from two Hurricanes. The Oversight Board hopes the U.S. House of Representatives will pass the bill soon.”

Much of the aid is aimed at helping Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria, which hit the island in September 2017.

The bill would provide $605 million for the island’s Nutrition Assistance Program and $304 million for Community Development Block Grants to help it meet Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements. It would require within 90 days the federal government to release $8.9 billion in already approved but withheld aid to Puerto Rico. It would include a provision ensuring that more damaged Puerto Rican facilities will be repaired or replaced, and built to industry standards.

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