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Mon Jun 17, 2019, 04:48 PM

'Aggressive' CRIM Drive Against Tax Evaders to Rake In $300 Million

The agency that collects municipal property taxes in Puerto Rico is carrying out an “aggressive” plan to rake in up to $300 million in additional revenues during the next 18 months by cracking down on tax evaders, registering properties and improving services to tax payers, according to top officials of the Municipal Revenues Collection Center (CRIM by its Spanish initials).

CRIM has updated photogrammetric technology to reassess tax evaluations by identifying changes in property use and newly built structures, said CRIM Executive Director Reinaldo Paniagua Látimer, noting that the agency is completing the first island-wide photographic mapping of properties since the last one was completed in 1997.

“We have lacked appraisers to update the property assessments, so we have invested in this technology to track the many changes that have occurred in the past 22 years,” he told the STAR, adding that such mapping technology combines the use of drones and satellite imagery, saving the agency some $2 million in the leasing of planes to do aerial photograph. “We are doing a total restructuring of the agency to streamline processes, which includes an aggressive program to automate the agency. We want to bring CRIM to the 21st century.”

The agency is targeting an estimated 300,000 properties on the island that have not been assessed and registered in the property tax system, said Cidra Mayor Javier Carrasquillo, who chairs the CRIM board of directors. He was cautious about the potential tax revenue these properties could generate, noting that many could qualify for a tax exemption, although he said a “few hundred million” could be generated in additional municipal revenue as a result of the new assessments.

Read more: http://www.sanjuanweeklypr.com/pdf/Jun-17-19/local.pdf
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