Over the next days and weeks, Congress makes a number of decisions that impact millions of American citizens living in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Congress is about to finalize tax reform and will decide within days whether or not to impose new 'excise' taxes on American citizens living on the islands - these taxes are not imposed on US citizens living in the States.
Please call your Representative and Senators now and tell them that if they don't strip the tax package of new excise taxes for Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico will lose tens of thousands of jobs and recovery from the hurricanes could be impossible. The Capitol switch board is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Congress needs to hear from you.
"If Congress treats American citizens living in Puerto Rico differently than American citizens living in the 50 States by treating our island as a foreign jurisdiction, we believe recovery for our island home will be nearly impossible," wrote Metropolitan Archbishop Roberto O. González Nieves, OFM of the Catholic Archdiocese San Juan de Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Bible Society Secretary, Reverend Heriberto Martínez-Rivera in their letter to Congress. "We respectfully request that all Members of Congress ensure that a final tax reform plan does not impose new excise taxes on Puerto Rico."
For the last month we've pushed Congress to remove this tax and have worked with the White House and the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress on a number of the key issues facing Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Key decision makers in Congress are telling us we are close to winning protections for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the tax reform package - but Congress needs to hear from you for us to win.
Before the hurricanes Puerto Rico was suffering from a financial crisis and almost one out of two Puerto Rican kids were living in poverty. Then the hurricanes hit making a tragic situation unbelievably worse.
If Congress fails to remove this excise tax in their final tax legislation, it is just like hitting Puerto Rico with another hurricane.
In the coming weeks we are facing a number of Congressional votes that will impact the lives and livelihoods of millions of our fellow American citizens living on the islands. We will need your help several times before the new year to make sure Congress acts in the best interest of the hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
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