SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Legislators in Puerto Rico have narrowly approved an increase in the island's sales tax to help generate more revenue and offset a deep fiscal crisis.
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla is expected to sign a bill approved Tuesday that increases the tax from 7 percent to 11.5 percent. It also would create a new 4 percent tax on professional services.
The measure received the minimum 26 votes needed in the island's House of Representatives after the Senate narrowly approved it with amendments on Monday.
Officials said the proposed increase could help generate $1.2 billion in revenue.
Puerto Rico is in its eighth year of recession and facing a $72 billion public debt. Officials previously warned the government could shut down soon if emergency measures were not taken.