Puerto Rico sees up to 30 percent drop in holiday sales

Puerto Rico's National Retail Federation is reporting an up to 30 percent drop in holiday sales in the U.S. territory amid a worsening economic crisis.

Federation President Ruben Pinero told reporters Tuesday that about 70 percent of businesses reported the decrease during a recent survey. He blamed the drop on an 11.5 percent sales and use tax that recently took effect.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla increased the tax from 7 percent last year to help generate up to $1.2 billion in revenue as the island struggles through a nearly decade-long economic slump. Critics say the tax has forced some businesses to close and has curtailed shopping.

It is the highest sales tax compared with any U.S. state.