Discuss the possible withholding of funds for remittances from municipalities to remedy the debt that municipalities have with the Health Insurance Administration (Ases) and the Retirement System Administration (ASR), after the annulment of Law 29, it is “very premature,” said Javier Carrasquillo, president of the Governing Board of the Center for the Collection of Municipal Revenues (Crim).
The mayor of Cidra also said that all the steps imposed by the Fiscal Control Board (JCF) have not yet been completed so that the municipalities can settle the debts indicated.
Carrasquillo indicated that no municipality has refused to pay the debts and stressed that -in general- they have begun to be honored according to the established steps.
“In this sense, we began with the first step, which was to distribute the $ 131.8 million from the reserve fund created by the Crim, while the issue of the legality of Law 29 was clarified in the courts, which were applied to the total debt of $ 196 million, ”he explained.
He added that the second step to pay the debt is done with funds from the liquidation of fiscal year 2017, which the Department of the Treasury owed. “These monies were received in August 2020 and were distributed. The third step is to use the excess of the Special Additional Tax (CAE), which is the moment in which we are now; and the fourth step consists of using the surplus income corresponding to the liquidation of the fiscal year 2019-2020, ”Carrasquillo explained.
EL VOCERO published that, between the end of September and the beginning of October, the executive director of the fiscal entity, Natalie Jaresko, sent the first collection round to about 16 mayors. That included San Juan, Caguas, Carolina, Arecibo, Guayanilla, Cabo Rojo and Guánica, which had until Monday to pay off the debt with retirement plans.
Jaresko –according to the letters- mentioned that, if the mayors did not reach a payment agreement with the ASR, the fiscal board would order the Crim to deduct one twelfth of the debt from the monthly remittances of the municipality as of November 1.
For the executive director of the Crim, Reinaldo Paniagua Látimer, “if there are still municipalities with any outstanding debt, and the JCF requires, as indicated, to use remittances, then we will look at the alternative that said municipalities, which are projected to be about 10 , request a payment plan directly from the Ases and the Retirement System ”.
He reiterated that in the Crim they are ensuring the fiscal health of the municipalities, so they continue with the efforts with the fiscal entity and the municipalities so that they can comply, “without the services to the citizens being affected.”
Although in the breakdown of the fiscal board $ 66 million remain to be paid, the Crim reported that