Why won’t Puerto Rico’s governor show his face in light of tax crisis?

A day after “El Nuevo Dia” reported that Puerto Rico is bankrupt, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla is being called out for not attending press events.…
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FILE: Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla announces a $200 million expansion of pharmaceutical operations of Eli Lilly in Puerto Rico at the Governor’s Mansion on November 14, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Lately the governor has gone absent from public and media events on the island.  (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

A day after “El Nuevo Dia” reported that Puerto Rico is bankrupt, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla is being called out for not attending press events.

Earlier this week Puerto Ricans woke up to the front page of the island’s main newspaper, “El Nuevo Dia,” stating Puerto Rico is $168 billion in debt and bankrupt — a much grimmer picture of how the dire economic picture the government has painted for the island people.  Now the daily spoke to gubernatorial secretary Victor Suarez.  He says that Governor Garcia Padilla has been focusing his attention on a tax reform plan.

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Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. mainland, where most of them now reside say they aren’t surprised.

Carmelo Villegas from Port St. Lucie, Florida says the governor’s absence is nothing new: “Maybe he doesn’t have anything to say, but he does that sometimes and has one of his advisors speak on his behalf.”

Padilla has been working closely with KPMG, a consulting firm hired by the Puerto Rican government for $4.7 million to analyze the money situation on the island.  A press release from KPMG says the new plan will impose a 16% tax on goods and services.  Taxpayers earning less than $21,800 a year will not see any taxes taken from their check.

The government is not sharing too many details about the new tax reform just yet, but officials say everything will come to light.  Lydia Cruz from Dallas, TX expects the governor to make a statement soon.

“I imagine by next week, he will have no other choice than to make an appearance,” says Lydia Cruz, another Puerto Rican living inDallas, TX. “It’s his duty.”

Cruz also says that if the governor is avoiding the press, she wouldn’t blame him.

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When asked about why  Padilla has been attending social events, Suarez says those were commitments the governor made before focusing on tax reform.

The governor has until February 15 to present a tax reform bill to the legislature.