Stop Using Puerto Rico as a Tax Haven for Wealthy Colonists

Target: Governor Pedro Pierluisi, Governor of Puerto Rico

Goal: Repeal Puerto Rico’s Incentive Code and rectify Puerto Rico’s displacement crisis.

Puerto Rico’s newly enacted Incentive Code (Act 60) establishes steep tax incentives for new residents who inhabit the island for at least 183 days out of the year. Recipients of the incentive are now able to, among other things; keep their home country’s passports while avoiding federal tax on income sourced in Puerto Rico. The new breaks are colonist in nature, and they put money in the hands of self-oriented mainlanders, while leaving Puerto Rico’s citizens struggling.

The policy comes on the heels of Puerto Rico’s 2012 Act to Promote the Relocation of Inventors to Puerto Rico, which have both already changed the face of the territory. Since 2012, an influx of crypto currency moguls, such as David Johnston and YouTuber Jake Paul have made the move to the tax-free “paradise.” Their arrival has since set off a wave of consequences, one of which has been displacement. Rent in Viejo San Juan and its surrounding neighborhoods have swelled, exacerbating an already existing fiscal and housing crisis. Additionally, a study by the Centro De Periodismo Investigativo found that the incentives, despite promising increased employment, have barely created jobs and had little to no impact on the local economy. The island still maintains a 9% unemployment rate.

This influx of white opportunists – with no interest in the well-being of the island, its residents or future – is another mark on Puerto Rico’s long struggle with colonization. Johnston, who lives in a suburb outside the capital, told CNBC that he sees the island as “‘- big enough to build a tech center.’”

Act 60 promised new business, increased employment, and an influx of profit that would help pay the island’s over 70-billion-dollar debt. So far, it has accomplished none of that and has left its residents in need.

Sign below to repeal this decision and support native Puerto Ricans.


Dear Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, 

While Puerto Ricans are still marching for repairs, affordable and reliable electricity, fair wages for their teachers, resignation of corrupt politicians and a general right to self-determination, Act 60 has facilitated the migration of a mostly white populace. The tax break relieves “bona fide” residents of Puerto Rico (those who reside on the island for at least 183 days of the year) of federal tax on local income. The incentive is colonist in essence, classist, and harmful outright.

The act has opened the floodgates to a hoard of uninvolved, money hungry migrants who have driven up rent, an already high rate of displacement and local migration, widened the wealth gap and deepened the wedge between Puerto Ricans and their authority over their land. 

The bill has set the island on another colonist course and needs to be reversed. 


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull

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