SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Legislation that would increase Puerto Rico's sales tax from 7 percent to 11.5 percent has squeaked by with the minimum amount of votes needed in the island's House of Representatives.
The measure also would create a new 4 percent tax on professional services to help generate revenue amid an economic crisis. Two members from the governor's party voted against the measure Thursday.
The narrow approval comes just weeks after the House rejected a bill calling for a 14 percent value-added tax that the governor had said was essential to boost Puerto Rico's economy.
The bill on the sales tax increase now goes to the Senate, which is also controlled by the governor's party.
Puerto Rico is in its eighth year of recession and faces a $72 billion public debt.