Economy crisis and every day life

For those of you living in PR now, how do you feel the effects of the debt crisis in your everyday life? I know things like electricity and certain groceries are always on the high end. but do you and your family personally feel the effects? I am moving to the island in a few weeks and would like to brace myself. Thanks!

There are no effects on my everyday life.  There is a bearable rise in the cost of purchases because of the increased sales tax, but the parking lots and cashier lines in stores are just as long as before. And as of right now, I live in the area where there is no water rationing.

For us it's the water situation.  We're now on a 1 day on, 2 days off rotation.  Fortunately we are able to avoid the sales tax increase by shopping at the Commissary and Exchange on Fort Buchanan.

trekrider520 :

For us it's the water situation.  We're now on a 1 day on, 2 days off rotation.  Fortunately we are able to avoid the sales tax increase by shopping at the Commissary and Exchange on Fort Buchanan.

The use of the exchange is only for the military and military retires, right?
Non retired vets don't have that privilege

Hi Rey:

You are correct - only military and retirees are eligible for the exchange.  However, if you go with someone, they can sign you in and you can shop there.  Not sure if there's any restrictions on guest purchases though.  Unfortunately the commissary is military/retiree only - without ID you can't even get in.  In talking to some people I guess too many people abused the guest privileges.  It was the same in Alaska's Elemendorf AFB as well.

I speak with my sister in law almost every day, she is not affected by the water restrictions. Just like frogrock mentioned, the lines at the stores and shopping centers do not reflect a change due to the tax increase.

trekrider520 :

Hi Rey:

You are correct - only military and retirees are eligible for the exchange.  However, if you go with someone, they can sign you in and you can shop there.  Not sure if there's any restrictions on guest purchases though.  Unfortunately the commissary is military/retiree only - without ID you can't even get in.  In talking to some people I guess too many people abused the guest privileges.  It was the same in Alaska's Elemendorf AFB as well.

That is what I figured, I am a Vietnam era veteran but left after almost 10 years so I did not retired from the military. I was 1/2 there but decided to get out and become a civilian again.
Thanks

In regards to the economy coming from New York I don't see much difference in the food prices in general and the electricity kwh is less as compared to Con Edison. The sales tax has gone up to 11.5 % I believe but that's about it....

The tax increase do not apply to food items, unless they are cook(restaurants) or primary necessity items. Also, as it had been mentioned several times, there is another economic in the island, pulguillas (flee markets), trade, side vendors that do not pay taxes.

adlin20 :

The tax increase do not apply to food items, unless they are cook(restaurants) or primary necessity items. Also, as it had been mentioned several times, there is another economic in the island, pulguillas (flee markets), trade, side vendors that do not pay taxes.

Can you go into more depth regarding the way things work in this other economy? Are there are a lot of things available for cheaper like second-hand items? If moving there and leaving things behind, i would love to buy a bunch of used things rather than trying to purchase new (or shipping things). Do they have anything like farmers markets for food or no? What about trading or paying for work? My boyfriend I think would love to do things like repairs and maintenance on all sorts of vehicle types and make money that way.

Thank you all for the info!

Wonderer, there are flee markets trough several towns in the island. In these markets, you can find all types of vendors. They are not regulated by the government and vendors are not require to charge taxes. Specially side vendor and day vendors. You will find used household items as well as new ones since there is merchandise that get to the island  that bypass government scrutiny. I know of several of then, Mayaguez, Sabana Grande, Ponce to mention some.

Also, there is clasificados on line (web classifies) where you can find people selling used and/or new articles.

http://www.clasificadosonline.com/

Other source will be FB, there are groups dedicated to selling merchandise by individuals.

Just another piece of bad news for the economy and tax revenues:
http://www.latinpost.com/articles/69036 … crisis.htm

Rey, Not sure if this may help you but FYI Veterans receiving 100% disability compensation can also use the Exchange and Commissary at Fort Buchanan.

Thanks Dora, fortunately I am not disabled, not yet at least.

A lot of shops are closing. I live in the tourist zone so water doesn't affect me, but the current imbecile governor's entire economic plan involves attracting billionaires. That doesn't do much for small shop owners trying to keep their doors open. It's just frustrating to watch capitolio. Puerto Rico has many incredible things....intelligent politicians is not one of them.

I am also trying to attract billionaires. Preferably single men who like to sail and enjoy rum drinks.  The good new is, even with the increased sales tax, the cost of a Gaby ice cream cone is still one dollar.

LOL, frogrock!

labochinchosa :

A lot of shops are closing. I live in the tourist zone so water doesn't affect me, but the current imbecile governor's entire economic plan involves attracting billionaires. That doesn't do much for small shop owners trying to keep their doors open. It's just frustrating to watch capitolio. Puerto Rico has many incredible things....intelligent politicians is not one of them.

Unfortunate, I think it is a requirement to be stupid to be a politician.....but it is not just the politicians in the island. :|

Are any of you still waiting to  receive your income tax refund check?  We filed our tax US and PR tax returns well before the April 15th deadline, that were prepared by a local CPA firm, yet we have yet to receive a refund check.  We have no idea how to check on the status of our refund.  In the US we were always able to check the IRS website or phone an 800  number.  Any advice?

How about health insurance? We are going to be moving to the island at the end of the year and need a good psychiatrist and general practitioner. Will be around Vega Baja.

While some things are more expensive in PR than in the states, at least our supermarket shelves are full of products, and selections are not too bad unlike other places: http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2 … -venezuela

Rey,

And just like in any other government, the rich and politicians are the only ones not affected. I have a co worker that his brother lives in Venezuela, he dont have to stay in line since he is part of the "elite".
He brough pictures of his brothers son wedding, I was amazed, you would not think it was in a country that its people are going thru food shortage.

adlin20 :

Rey,

And just like in any other government, the rich and politicians are the only ones not affected. I have a co worker that his brother lives in Venezuela, he dont have to stay in line since he is part of the "elite".
He brough pictures of his brothers son wedding, I was amazed, you would not think it was in a country that its people are going thru food shortage.

Big changes in Venezuela, about 30 years ago I went there to setup the computer systems and wagering system for their "Canodromo" (Dog Racing Wagering system) which was a big Political affair when completed. A lot of poverty there but stores had food and just about everything. I was there for about 6 weeks. Every scrap box was stolen and used to fix houses (Shacks) for the poor.

But people were like you and me an seemed fairly happy while they were poor. It reminded me of what "La Perla" was like in the 70's. Needless to say I ate most of my meals from the street vendors, however one of my mainlander friends had to be shipped back to the states with a bad case of Ameba. I was fine, and had a good time.

You know growing in the island you develop an iron stomach! I love street vendor food when we go to Mexico same happened to a co worker when we worked in the border and used to go across to eat every evening.

I love to buy food from street vendors and until now I never got sick. :D

Back to the effects of the debt crisis, the only thing that I see is the increased sales tax. Now we buy most of our non-food stuff online and unless it's shipped from PR no sales tax is added.

I would do the same, buy online if no tax. But in reality we are not helping the economy either.

I am not saying we should pay the rediculos taxes.
Does amazon charge taxes ?

ReyP :

Does amazon charge taxes ?

Nope, they don't.
Actually, there are more reasons to buy at Amazon. You don't have to go to a store, they have a lot more to choose from and even before the new sales tax their prices were better in many cases.

We have purchased almost all the kitchen stuff from amazon and have them shipped to our PO box in PR. No sales tx and better quality (in my opinion) since a lot of the articles found in the island are knockoff from China. We even got all the linens on line. I agree that not paying taxes affect the economy of the island, but it is excessive the amount of taxes they are charging.
The PR government try to impose a tx to the goods shipped but they could not get the companies to agree on it. They wanted to have the retail stores collect the tx for them, amazon was one of the companies that refused based on current federal laws.

That sounds like a signiciant savings in both time and money.  What types / how large of items did you buy?

Kitchen appliances (coffee maker, mini oven, can openers...), pans and pots, knife sets, bowls, kitchen towels, faucets, utensil sets, racks, Bathroom towels, towels racks, bed sheets sets, alarm system. Most of the stuff for the kitchen and decorating were purchased and shipped by amazon. Even an in line water heater we were able to have it ship.

The only thing we could not buy were big items, TVs, kitchen stools, furniture.

I would like to know if other on-line vendors also skip the tax? like Sears or HomeDepot? etc.?

Sitka :

I would like to know if other on-line vendors also skip the tax? like Sears or HomeDepot? etc.?

I would assume that these two vendors will charge tax since they are present on the island and will most likely ship from their PR warehouses. I ordered from Home Depot once or twice in the past but honestly I don't remember if they charged sales tax.
I do remember that I bought a generator from Home Depot and that ordering and paying online (with my phone while I was in the store!) saved me a lot of money. It took like 30 minutes to process but then I walked out with my new gen set and 250 bucks still in my pocket. :D

Another good experience was with Advance Autoparts where the parts I needed were cheaper online and sales tax wasn't charged when I picked it up in the store.

Speaking of Sears,
Here in the states they offer extended warranty on appliances and other major items, I found here that those warranties are well worth the money in the states.

Anybody has experience with extended warranty from Sears in PR?

I purchased it from other non-sears places and never found it worth it except for Sears and Apple.

Gary :
Sitka :

I would like to know if other on-line vendors also skip the tax? like Sears or HomeDepot? etc.?

I would assume that these two vendors will charge tax since they are present on the island and will most likely ship from their PR warehouses. I ordered from Home Depot once or twice in the past but honestly I don't remember if they charged sales tax.
I do remember that I bought a generator from Home Depot and that ordering and paying online (with my phone while I was in the store!) saved me a lot of money. It took like 30 minutes to process but then I walked out with my new gen set and 250 bucks still in my pocket. :D

Another good experience was with Advance Autoparts where the parts I needed were cheaper online and sales tax wasn't charged when I picked it up in the store.

Any store that complete the transaction at the store, you will be charge tax. We had the same experience with HD, order the article on line and it was cheaper than at the store, pay for it on line and we just pick it up, no tax.

(slightly) Off-topic,how's that in the lower 48 with Amazon and sales tax? Recently I ordered something from Amazon and had it shipped to somebody in North Carolina. I had to pay sales tax. Is that the same in other states?

We dont pay taxes in Texas when we order from amazon. But we do pay taxes if I order from HD or Walmart not sure if it is because of where the article is shipped from.

I just checked the Amazon site. In 26 states sales tax has to be paid: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer … eId=468512

Humm, based on this we should be paying sales tax. We just place another order and was not charge taxes. I wont complain thou.  :cool:

:D

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