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Cruz Bay
Saturday, July 20, 2024


The territory’s quest to get back more federal tax money from rum produced here cleared Capitol Hill Friday night when the U.S. Senate approved the legislation and sent it to the President.
The measure increases the rum tax rebate from $10.50 to $13.25 per gallon for both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, retroactive to July 1 and effective through Dec. 31, 2001.
President Clinton is expected to sign the measure into law.
Delegate Donna Christian-Christiansen said she has been assured the White House supports the temporary lifting of the cap, which represents nearly $20 million a year in additional rum revenues for the territory's treasury. "It’s almost a done deal," she said Saturday.
Provision for the increased rum tax rebate was included in massive federal spending legislation the Senate voted on Friday night.
"It’s good news for the territory at a time when we need some positive news and we are very pleased about it," Christiansen said.
She said she remains optimistic that this first lifting of the rum tax rebate cap will pave the way for a permanent increase on the return of rum revenues to the territory. "Members from both sides of the aisle have offered their support on this measure," she said. "Republicans and Democrats are prepared to offer the territory the assistance it needs to reverse its financial difficulties."

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