Puerto Rico’s governor says legislators have reached a last-minute agreement on a proposed oil tax increase and that public transportation will not be paralyzed as previously announced.
The televised address late Sunday by Gov. Alejandro García Padilla follows a flurry of last-minute meetings regarding a bill that would increase the excise tax on a barrel of crude oil from $9.25 to $15.50 and help generate $178 million a year.
Garcia and other supporters have said the increase is needed to boost a debt-ridden transportation agency amid growing bankruptcy concerns.
The measure also aims to help the government sell up to $2.9 billion in bonds and refinance at least $1 billion in loans made to the Highway and Transportation Authority. It owes $2.2 billion to the Government Development Bank.