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Transforming Puerto Rico from a Black Hole to a Magnet for Capital with Enterprise Zones

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has come out with a new idea for creating growth in Puerto Rico, transforming the U.S. territory from “a black hole of capital to a magnet for capital” by turning the entire island into an enterprise zone.

What are enterprise zones? Generally speaking, they are impoverished or distressed areas that offer tax incentives to encourage businesses to invest in the area and create economic growth.

Enterprise zones were pioneered by former Vice Presidential candidate and U.S. House and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp, who also served as a congressman from upstate New York after retiring from a successful professional football career with the Buffalo Bills.

While in Congress, Kemp teamed up with Rep. Robert Garcia (D-NY) to introduce enterprise zone legislation. The Kemp-Garcia proposal aimed to provide certain tax incentives for individuals and businesses in depressed areas on the theory that a favorable tax structure will be sufficient to induce new businesses to locate in economically depressed areas.

ATR author Ryan Ellis suggests that some elements of a Puerto Rican enterprise zone might include:

  • Lower business tax rates to 15% or even lower in Puerto Rico.
  • Attract workers back to Puerto Rico by lowering personal tax rates by a low tax rate on wages, a FICA tax holiday, or both.
  • Encourage capital in Puerto Rico by turning Puerto Rico into a capital gains tax free zone and eliminate the “death tax” in Puerto Rico.
  • Facilitating the purchase of hard assets to create the capital stock a growing economy needs by allowing full business expensing for all computers, machinery and buildings for investors.

An idea also championed by the Reagan Administration, variations of Enterprise Zones have already been implemented on a piecemeal basis in BaltimoreWashington, D.C. and elsewhere throughout the U.S.  There are no enterprise zones in Puerto Rico according to information assembled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

5 thoughts on “Transforming Puerto Rico from a Black Hole to a Magnet for Capital with Enterprise Zones”

  1. The problem in Puerto Rico is the PPP/PDP (Populist Democrat Party).
    Every initiative by the statehood party to make the island like a state as far as economic potential & compatability with the rest of the US gets reversed by the anti statehood PDP. Among the PDP casualties;
    * PDP Gov Rafael Hernandez Colon declares spanish as only official language.
    * The Urban Train (TREN Urbano) Originally meant to have branch lines to Caguas,Carolina was stopped by PDP Gov Sila Calderón,who proposed DEMOLISHING IT. The Federal Gov reminded Calderon it was built with Federal $$ and RIGHTFULLY threatened her administration. It was proposed by a PDP governor on the 1960s but Statehood Gov Pedro Rosello began construction in the 1990s.
    * José A ponte Coliseum, Sila wanted to implode the Coliseum midway through construction. Aponte was a statehood proponent.

    * West Coast Tech Corridor. A Rosello initiative to make PR the silicon valley of the Caribbean and southern US. Killed by Gov Sila Calderon.
    * Padilla & Bhatia (PDP) Declares spanish ” sole primary language ” because as Bhatia states, ” No one here speaks english.” A BLATANT LIE! 1/5 SPEAK ENGLISH WELL PLUS 75% OF THE 5 MILLION IN THE STATES.

    1. * The Green Line ( via verde.)
      The PDP utilized the anti US, liberal media in PR to destroy GOP/Statehood Gov Fortuño’s natural gas initiative to free Puerto Rico from burning oil for energy. They created a fear campaign dubbing it the ” pipeline of death (via de muerte (death)- which rhymes with verde(green)).
      * Century 21 school initiative to make all PR children fully bilingual by 2020.- KILLED BY PDP GOV PADILLA. Replaced by present Bhatia neo nationalist proposal to “create a Puerto Rican education”. Century 21 English schools are now closed!

      1. This is pure rhetoric geared to undermine and discredit Puerto Rico, and make look US Government as blameless for the crisis. It is assimilation and colonialism the exclusive responsible for Puerto Rico’s inability or failure to face its obligations and/or secure the necessary mechanisms that will enable it to supersede adversity.

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