SAN JUAN – The presidents of the Association of Mayors and the Federation of Mayors of Puerto Rico met on Thursday with the executive director of the Fiscal Control Board (JCF), Natalie Jaresko, to discuss the proposed cut in the Equalization Fund.
This is a mechanism created to distribute funds equitably among municipalities, to compensate for the fixed expenses that small towns have.
“After explaining to the Board’s work team what the Equalization Fund means, the director of the Board indicated that she is not opposed to the mayors, together with the Legislature and the Executive, identifying those 44 million dollars to nurture the same for this next fiscal year that begins on July 1 ”, informed Luis Javier Hernández Ortiz, mayor of Villalba in written communication.
“This is a preliminary measure, for this next fiscal year only,” he added.
Hernández Ortiz added that, as part of the meeting, the mayors had the opportunity to talk with the director Jaresko “the different municipal initiatives that we are working on to do different things: such as our Energy Consortium of the Mountain, among other innovative ideas” .
In 2017, all the Municipalities of Puerto Rico have had to make serious budget adjustments of up to 25 percent in reduction of income and expenses. The cuts they would have to make from now on would be to the detriment of essential services. Hence the insistence of mayors in stopping cuts and working on various initiatives that guarantee a recurring source that can nurture the Equalization Fund so important to pay for services to citizens.