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Democrats Seek Tax Relief for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

A woman with her two children walk past debris left by Hurricane Irma in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. The storm ravaged such lush resort islands as St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Anguilla. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of Democratic lawmakers are asking for tax relief for hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, saying people and businesses in the two U.S. territories don’t enjoy the same tax benefits as those in the mainland.

The lawmakers are asking Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, head of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, to work on legislation that would, for example, extend the earned income tax credit for low- to moderate-income workers to Puerto Rico.

The House last week passed a $36.5 billion disaster aid package for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. But that relief was “paltry” for the territories’ residents because of the unequal tax treatment, said the lawmakers led by Democratic Reps. Joe Crowley and Nydia Velazquez of New York.

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