Economic development experts launch Tax Incentives Association
A team of economic development experts from Puerto Rico announced the launch of the Tax Incentives Association (TIA), a nonprofit association created to educate, investigate, analyze economic results and serve as promoters of Puerto Rico’s economic development through the attraction of new and diverse investments into the island.
TIA’s vision is to “have Puerto Rico’s tax incentives as the cornerstone of the island’s offer for incentive attraction and the engine of its economic recovery,” the organization said.
During its inaugural conference at Piloto 151’s Old San Juan location, several members of the organization’s board presented the overall mission of TIA.
Jeanelle Alemar-Escabí, founder of JAE-CE and spokesperson for TIA, expanded on the organization’s mission by stating that “if there’s one thing I want to clarify is that the tax incentives are not only available to foreigners. Tax incentives are designed to promote creation of businesses and economic activity in Puerto Rico, regardless of the nationality of the owners.”
“Any Puerto Rican that establishes an eligible business can apply for the incentives. Only one incentive is for new residents of Puerto Rico and those new residents can be Puerto Ricans that are coming back home,” she said.
Attendees received a “birds-eye view” of the new Tax Incentive Code of 2019 (Act 60 of 2019) and its effect on current and future investors.
“People need to know these benefits, are available — and have always been available — to every single Puerto Rican taxpayer and business,” said Paola Medina-Prieto, who emphasized on the competitive nature of reducing the corporate tax of most eligible businesses to a flat 4%, the most attractive incentive in the United States.
Piloto 151’s co-founder and TIA board member, Juan Carlos Stolberg, presented on the present and future of tax incentives in Puerto Rico with a focus on Opportunity Zones, Tourism, and Infrastructure.
“There is a direct correlation between tax incentives and the heating of the real estate market, and that shows how incentives can positively change our economy,” he said.
Another member of TIA, Giovanni Méndez Feliciano of GEO TAX, spoke on federal and regulatory intervention, along with Information requests and the most recent cases regarding tax incentives.
“It’s important to keep proper compliance on local and federal regulations to ensure the optimum implementation, growth and stability of the program,” he said.
Raúl Vidal Y Sepúlveda, former deputy secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce and co-founder of Omnia Economic Solutions, expanded on the contribution of this new economic sector to Puerto Rico’s wellbeing, including the creation of 40,000 jobs with an average salary of $36,000 per employee, and the annual tax revenue of more than $200 million, not to mention the $10 million in charity donated by investors under the former Act 20/22 incentives (now Act 60 of 2019).
“Puerto Rico’s economic development is our main focus and calling, which is why we are here to continue to promote the pro-business best practices that can make Puerto Rico a leading investment hub in the world,” he said.
Representatives from various sectors that promote economic development for the island were present, including legislative representatives, members of Invest Puerto Rico, officers from major Puerto Rico banks, and representatives from the film, health care, real estate, investment, private equity and technology industries, among others.
TIA hopes to promote Puerto Rico’s economic development by promoting the Tax Incentives Code and all the benefits it provides to the people of Puerto Rico.