Tags: Hurricane Irma | Trump Administration | Trump Tax Reform | puerto rico | governor | ricardo rossello | florida

Fla's Sen. Rubio at Odds With PR Gov. Rossello Over Tax Bill

Fla's Sen. Rubio at Odds With PR Gov. Rossello Over Tax Bill
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (Steve Helber/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:03 PM

The GOP tax code overhaul is pitting Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., against Puerto Rico's Democratic Gov. Ricardo Rossello over provisions that would put commonwealth companies at a competitive disadvantage, Politico reported.

Under the proposed bill, Puerto Rican companies would be considered offshore entities, and subject to higher taxes than mainland-based corporations.

Rossello threatened political retribution, telling the Miami Herald that Florida Republicans might pay at the ballot box in 2018 for their support of a bill that hurts hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico in its time of need.

"I am very disappointed with the fact the Sen. Rubio is going to be voting for this tax bill, particularly when we had the opportunity to address the potentially devastating effects on Puerto Rico," Rossello told the Herald.

But Rubio told Politico the remark surprised him because he helped Puerto Rico defeat a "truly devastating" measure in the bill — a tax on subsidiaries designed to prevent corporations from avoiding taxes by stashing money overseas.

He also suggested the commonwealth's leader is shifting the blame because he is facing criticism, Politico reported.

"Sometimes people in politics, when they feel under duress or they feel they're being criticized for their job performance, look for someone to blame it on," Rubio told Politico. "I find it disappointing. He knows better than anyone how much we have done before, during and after the storm."

Yet, Rubio acknowledged Republicans who have been criticized by Puerto Rican leaders for doing too little to help rebuild the commonwealth after the storm could ultimately pay a political price.

"If you want to talk pure politics, of course, I don't think it's a good idea for the Republican Party — or for anyone for that matter — to be in a position where they cannot argue for or articulate things that we stand for because of a perception that the party writ large doesn't care about what you care about, in this case Puerto Rico," Rubio told Politico.

Rubio also expressed doubts about how badly Puerto Rico will be affected by the tax overhaul.

"I don't think it's clear that it's going to be as devastating or as dramatic as what the governor is saying — it could be, but it's not necessarily something there's a lot of clarity on right now," Rubio said. "We've talked to multiple employers there. Not a single one of them has told us they're moving . . . they've told us that the cost of moving would be higher than what they would save by moving."

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The Republican tax reform package has pitted Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at odds with Gov. Ricardo Rossello, D-P.R., Politico reported.
puerto rico, governor, ricardo rossello, florida
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:03 PM
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