The passage of federal legislation known as PROMESA is the first of many steps that must be taken to restore Puerto Rico’s economic health: that’s the word from National Taxpayers Union (NTU), whose comments late last week to the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico offered achievable reforms.
NTU continues to express the need for constant vigilance over the implementation of the legislation and urges Congress to be an active resource for the new Oversight Board as it begins to address the fiscal matters in Puerto Rico.
“PROMESA can only function properly with constant vigilance over its implementation, and a dedication to resolving the multitude of problems that have put Puerto Rico in its current position,” said Pete Sepp, President of NTU. “Lawmakers must work with the Economic Task Force as well as the Oversight Board to enact federal tax reform, encourage fiscal discipline on the island, eliminate obstructions to commerce, uphold rule of law in prioritization of debts, remove barriers to private sector job creation, and promote the free flow of capital between Puerto Rico and mainland U.S. In following through on these mandates, Puerto Rico will see positive and substantial changes in the future and even in the very near-term.”
As NTU notes, Puerto Rico has recently taken action to contradict and undermine provisions of PROMESA that are designed to protect creditors and taxpayers and prevent a retroactive reprioritization of the Commonwealth’s obligations. Meanwhile, sound tax and regulatory reforms for the Commonwealth, which resemble proposals affecting the entire U.S., need to be given a rapid path forward in Congress.
“Many experts have observed that Puerto Rico’s long-term economic recovery hinges on its successful return to the markets. The Oversight Board, the Economic Task Force, and Congress must cooperate with each other to ensure that Puerto Rico’s government does not compromise its ability to do so,” Sepp said.
As advocates for taxpayers in the Commonwealth and the rest of the United States, NTU has since early 2015 offered detailed legislative recommendations to help address Puerto Rico’s challenges. The organization re-pledged its commitment to the U.S. Congress, Puerto’s government, the Economic Task Force, and the Oversight Board to provide further recommendations that would ensure the Puerto Rican people are able to secure a bright and lucrative future, free of economic and political instability.
To read the full letter to the Puerto Rican Task Force, click here.