A bill has been filed that seeks to provide support for small businesses being impacted by the adverse economic impact resulting from the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Senator James C. Moylan introduced Bill 311-35 (LS) which provides two temporary relief benefits for the business community.
These benefits include a temporary reduction of the Business Privilege Tax (BPT) from 5% to 4% and a revision of the Dave Santos Small Business Act to provide any small business with gross earnings of under $500,000, a BPT exemption on the first $250,000 of earned income. This provision would place a freeze on the interim exemption benefit provided to businesses.
Both benefits would be for a six-month window, between April 1, 2020 and
September 30, 2020, and would provide businesses some relief as they cope with a reduction in projected revenues for 2020.
“While some may argue that this measure would greatly impact the
government’s collections, the reality is that we are already heading in this
direction by remaining status quo. There are already actual stories
circulating of reduced work hours in the private sector, which means a
reduction in the government’s collection of withholding and income taxes.
Sales are down across the island, as the tourism industry trickles into
benefitting many other industries, hence corporate and BPT taxes will also
be impacted,” stated Senator Moylan.
He added: “This measure would allow some investment back into these businesses, with the hopes that they would maintain employee hours, employee benefits, or even invest back into their operations, all of which help stimulate the economy in some way.” (press release)