Economic Squeeze on Puerto Rico's Lower, Middle Class
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla has said the island needs the new revenue to close a budget deficit and improve the near-junk status of its general obligation bonds while it hobbles through its seventh straight year of recession.
Next year, the economy is expected to contract by up to 2 percent as Puerto Rico remains burdened by $69 billion in public debt and an unemployment rate of 13.9 percent, higher than any U.S. state.
Reporting by Danica Coto, the Associated Press.