Municipal Fiscal Crisis in the United States: Lessons and Policy Recommendations for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is facing a severe fiscal crisis. Central government expenditures consistently exceed income and the Commonwealth has been forced to borrow from the Government Development Bank (GDB) $250 million, $233 million and $550 million to balance each of the last three central government budgets.

For fiscal year 2006 the Commonwealth’s current structural imbalance is estimated at $1.222 billion. This amount represents the difference between estimated expenditures of $9.683 billion, plus $384 million related to a portion of debt service for general obligation bonds due during fiscal year 2006 which was paid with funds from a GDB line of credit, for a total of $10.067 billion in expenses, less recurring revenues of $8.845 billion.


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