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If you have any questions in regards to the above, please do not hesitate to contact our offices so that we may explain the amendments to the provisions of the Code in more detail. Our address is:

 

Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., P.O. Box 363507, San Juan, PR 00936-3507. Our fax (787) 759-3108.

 

We welcome your questions and comments.


Juan Carlos Gómez Escarce
(787) 759-3166

jgomez@fgrlaw.com

María L. González Hernández
(787) 759-3173

mlgonzal@fgrlaw.com

 

Eduardo Negrón Navas

(787) 759-3106

enegron@fgrlaw.com

Pedro J. Reyes Bibiloni

(787) 759-3208

preyes@fgrlaw.com

 

JOBS NOW ACT ESTABLISHES A ONE-DAY CONSTRUCTION AND OCCUPANCY PERMITTING PROCESS FOR ELIGIBLE BUSINESSES

The Jobs Now Act, Act 1-2013, signed by the Governor of Puerto Rico on February 10, 2013, establishes a job creation public policy by providing energy credits, tax incentives and an expedited permitting process, among other incentives, to Eligible Businesses.


Eligible Business

 

An Eligible Business is an entity doing or proposing to do business in Puerto Rico, which complies with the following requirements: a minimum local capital investment of 15%; a minimum of 1% of the gross sales produced in Puerto Rico shall be kept in local banks or credits unions for at least three years; and whose main operations are not covered under other incentives laws. Additional requirements are applicable depending on whether the Eligible Business is a new business or an expansion of an existing business. In order to qualify as an Eligible Business, the entity must enter into a Special Agreement for the Creation of Jobs with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


Energy Credits

 

The energy credits incentives will be available to Eligible Businesses hiring full time or equivalent employees from January 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. From January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, the energy credit will be up to $2,000 per full time employee; from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014, up to $1,000 per full time employee; and from April 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014, up to $500 per full time employee.

 

Other Incentives

 
Other incentives available to Eligible Businesses include: reduction of real and personal property taxes; reimbursement of salaries; one dollar ($1.00) lease of vacant industrial buildings owned by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO) and regional warehouses owned by the Puerto Rico Trade and Exports Company; special deductions for capital investment for improvements; reduced income tax rates; operational loss deductions; temporary municipal tax exemption; and Workmen’s Compensation Corporation reduced rates.

 

Expedited Permitting

 

The expedited permitting for Eligible Businesses provides for a one-day permitting process for construction and occupancy permits. The expedited permitting will be administered by the Permits Management Office (OGPe for its Spanish acronym), and will be applicable to Autonomous Municipalities which have permitting offices and authorities I through V, unless within five days after the enactment of the Act, the Autonomous Municipality notifies OGPe in writing its determination to be excluded from the applicability of the expedited permitting process, and amends its permitting process to be consistent with the new expedited construction and occupancy permits process. In order to qualify for the one-day permitting process, the Eligible Business must comply with the following conditions: the proposed use must be consistent with the zoning district; the required aqueduct/sewer, electric and road infrastructure must be available; the proposed location must not be in a flood area, maritime zone, landslide prone or ecologically protected area; and the total cost of the project must not exceed $15 Million. The one-day term to evaluate and issue a construction permit initiates once the Eligible Business has obtained the applicable environmental compliance certification from OGPe pursuant to Article 4(B)(3) of the Environmental Public Policy Act.

 

If you have any questions regarding this matter or would like to know more of our Firm’s experience in this area please call us. If you know anyone that would like to read the FGR Environmental Watch, please feel free to forward this article. Stay tuned for further updates of FGR ENVIRONMENTAL WATCH.

©2014 FIDDLER GONZÁLEZ & RODRÍGUEZ, P.S.C. Permission is granted to view, store, print, copy or distribute the content of this article for noncommercial or personal use, provided you do not alter it and you give us proper credit.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice or advertising. In addition, the above discussion has been provided in general terms and, therefore, should not be relied upon as legal advice applicable to a specific set of facts and circumstances. Before taking legal action, consult a lawyer you trust. Although we will try to be accurate, you cannot rely on its applicability to your specific problem without consulting your lawyer. Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. and the members of the Environmental Practice Group assume no responsibility to inform you of additional changes in law or any other legal issues related to matters addressed in this email of which we may become aware after the date hereof.

***IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any United States federal tax advice in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written by Fiddler González & Rodríguez, PSC to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding any penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. ***

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