Puerto Rico’s May revenue set record


Puerto Rico’s May revenue was the highest of any May on record.

The net revenue of $922 million was 19.9% above the November 23 projection for May revenues. The November projection was itself an increase from the Puerto Rico Oversight Board’s projections associated with its June 28, 2018-approved fiscal 2019 budget.

The government is now anticipating net General Fund revenue of $11.3 billion for the current fiscal year, Treasury Department Acting Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea said. “This would represent $2.842 billion over the original budget projection of the board of June 29, 2018 and $593 million over [a board projection] of May 9, 2019.”

Through the fiscal year’s first 11 months Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, right, has been blessed with revenues 11.7% above November’s projections.

Parés Alicea said the performance exceeded expectations for three reasons: one, economic activity following Hurricanes Irma and Maria; two, new tax laws that came into effect on January 2019; and three, efforts to improve levels of tax compliance.

Through the first 11 months of the fiscal year net revenue, at $10.234 billion, is 11.7% above the November 23 projection. Corporate income taxes account for the biggest increase of the November projection, at $532 million.

The categories with the largest haul in the first 11 months were: sales and use taxes with $2 billion, individual income taxes with $1.97 billion, foreign corporation (Law 154) taxes with $1.65 billion, and corporate income taxes with $1.64 billion.

The category with the biggest exceedance in May compared to the November projection was for taxes retained from non-residents, at $43 million. However, through the first 11 months this category is coming in $4.6 million less than the November projection.

Parés Alicea has been working as interim secretary of the Treasury since the Puerto Rico Senate approved him on Monday. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló dismissed his predecessor Raúl Maldonado Gautier earlier that day.

Maldonado Gautier said in a radio interview there was a variety of corrupt practices among members of the Treasury and that he was working with the FBI to root them out. The governor responded by dismissing him, complaining that the Treasury Secretary hadn’t brought these concerns to him.

On Thursday the El Vocero news web site quoted the director for the FBI in Puerto Rico, Douglass Leff, as saying he was working on the investigations and expected the summer to be very busy for his staff.

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