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On September 16th and 17th, the National Puerto Rican Coalition (no affiliation) sent a letters to the USDOJ and the SEC requesting an investigation into a deal between the foreign-owned Diageo and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
A quote from the letter sent to Representative Velasquez’s office on September 17th states:
This deal is unprecedented in that it effectively transfers U.S. tax dollars directly to a foreign company, with Diageo slated to receive almost half of all Cover Over revenues generated by the sale of rum produced at the facility. The almost $6 billion in direct payments over 60 years for only 40 jobs is equivalent to $2.5 million per job per year.
We applaud and support the National Puerto Rican Coalition in its continued effort to educate legislators on the untenable deal and persuade government authorities to look into practices which encourage corruption and misappropriation of U.S. Taxpayers’ money.
The letter to Congresswoman Velasquez can be found here.
originally posted by the Washington Times:
We may be witnessing the single worst example of corporate welfare in a generation. With all due respect to the crowd favorite, Archer Daniels Midland, the new contender essentially could give its product away and still make a profit – thanks to the generosity of the American taxpayer.
At the heart of the rip-off is a policy known as the “cover over” tax subsidy, which provides Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) a rebate on the federal excise taxes U.S. consumers pay when they buy rum produced in those territories. There are virtually no restrictions on the use of the money – though Puerto Rico currently uses 94 percent of the revenues to support investments in infrastructure, health, education and environmental preservation. (The additional 6 percent is spent on marketing for the island’s rum industry.)
To increase its revenue from the program, the Virgin Islands’ government two years ago signed an agreement with the British liquor conglomerate Diageo in which the company agreed to move its Captain Morgan rum distillery from Puerto Rico to USVI. Under the agreement, which makes the federal government‘s policy of paying farmers not to grow crops look penurious, the USVI government will give Diageo nearly half of all cover-over revenues generated by Captain Morgan sales. Read the rest of this entry »
How did an agreement to direct $6 billion to a foreign liquor conglomerate in exchange for 40 jobs get Congressional consent and Administration approval?
as posted at prnewswire.com:
WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ — The National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC) will hold a press conference on Thursday, September 16, at the National Press Club to discuss the organization’s requests to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate a deal between Diageo, a UK-based liquor conglomerate, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Diageo has structured an unusual and highly suspect agreement with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said NPRC Chairman Miguel Lausell. “Through this ‘deal’ more than $6 billion in U.S. tax funds will be assigned directly to Diageo over the next 60 years to assist in the creation of 40 jobs. Read the rest of this entry »
If you are from Puerto Rico, or have any ties to the island at all, you know about Diageo. What was once considered a proud corporate partner to the island, contributing almost 200 good-paying jobs to the economy and millions in revenues and taxes, has become quite the pariah in the eyes of Puerto Ricans everywhere.
The issue revolves around Diageo’s (a British-owned liquor conglomerate) decision to move its operations from the U.S. territory to another nearby territory, The U.S. Virgin Islands, all at U.S. Taxpayers’ expense. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by Alan Bromley – Staff Writer New Patriot Journal
Wrapped inside the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) lies a provision that gives a British rum-making corporation, Diageo, a tax break of $2.7 billion to move their facilities from Puerto Rico (where they resided for 30 years) to the U.S. Virgin Islands – and Puerto Rican politicians and activists are up in arms, finding Congress unwilling to make the tax laws comparable in both places, and even unwilling to be transparent about which politicians in Congress, if any, may have benefitted from the unusual tax break.
But they do know that embattled New York Congressman Charlie Rangel (D) as (past) chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, refused Read the rest of this entry »