September 3, 2010

(originally posted at

MIAMI, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Puerto Rico’s governor on Thursday signed a law authorizing property-tax breaks and other government incentives to stimulate the U.S. commonwealth’s beleaguered real estate markets.

The law okayed by Governor Luis Fortuno in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, was expected to cost the Caribbean island’s government an estimated $77 million before it expires next June and covers the sale, purchase and rental of residential properties, as well as commercial real estate transactions.

One of a series of moves by Fortuno’s administration to bring Puerto Rico out of a long recession, the program offers buyers waivers on transaction fees and new property investors a pass on property taxes for five years, according to a news release.

The program also includes exemptions from capital gains taxes, a break for landlords on rental profits and vouchers for first-time home buyers.