Puerto Rico lawmakers are debating whether to slash the island's $450 million fiscal 2008 bond bill by $175 million, an amount officials originally pegged to help pay down debt the commonwealth owes the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico.

Rep. Angel Perez, head of the House Budget Committee, said the lower chamber may pass its version by mid-May. House members are still deciding whether to include $175 million in the general obligation borrowing plan to help pay down more than $1.15 billion of Public Improvements Fund debt the government owes the GDB, or meet that obligation by tapping into $240 million of funds that the Treasury Department gained from a one-time tax measure. In 2006, lawmakers approved a 5% flat-tax on retirement-fund withdrawals, a move that generated $240 million of revenue for the commonwealth.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.