Debt-Ridden Puerto Rico Plans to Become Tax Haven to Attract US Wealth

© AP Photo / Ricardo ArduengoIn this May 4, 2012 photo, the flags of Puerto Rico and the U.S. wave behind an English one-way traffic sign in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, one of only a few places in Puerto Rico with street signs in English
In this May 4, 2012 photo, the flags of Puerto Rico and the U.S. wave behind an English one-way traffic sign in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, one of only a few places in Puerto Rico with street signs in English - Sputnik International
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On Monday, Puerto Rico defaulted on its debt for the first time in history, repaying only $628,000 of a $58 million portion of the total $73 billion it owes. The White House said on Tuesday that it had no plans to bailout the small island nation, which is an unincorporated US territory.

A homeless man stands in front of a closed down business in Puerta de Tierra in the outskirts of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. Mired in a 10 year old economic crisis, Puerto Rico failed to pay a $58 million bond payment due Saturday. If defaults continue, analysts say Puerto Rico will face numerous lawsuits and increasingly limited access to markets, putting a recovery even more out of reach. - Sputnik International
America's Greece? Puerto Rico Goes Into Default For First Time in History
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The indebted Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is seeking to replenish its coffers with cash from wealthy US citizens by becoming a new tax haven, US media reported Thursday.

Puerto Rico introduced laws in 2012 that offered tax exemptions and corporate tax cuts, measures that have since attracted around 250 millionaires from mainland United States to the island, CNN estimated on Thursday.

At the same time, Puerto Ricans have been leaving the island in thousands to look for a better life in the US states, reducing its tax base, the outlet added.

Despite this controversy, CNN cited businesspeople in Puerto Rico as saying that the nation had a chance of attracting foreign companies and creating more jobs, since businesses are being enticed to the island by its much lower corporate tax rate of 4 percent, compared to 35 percent in continental United States.

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