The governor of Puerto Rico is coming to the Florida Republican's defense after the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands accused LeMieux of doing Puerto Rico's bidding by pushing an amendment that the Virgin Islands says is harmful.
Both U.S. terrorities have been feuding over the taxes they earn on rum royalities and LeMieux late Wednesday night filed an amendment to a jobs bill that would change the way rum taxes are distributed. The Virgin Islands maintains the change would hugely benefit Puerto Rico at the expense of the Virgin Islands.
Now enters Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno who thanked LeMieux for the amendment and said it would "ensure these federal tax dollars go to government services for people instead of individual companies. A reasonable and rational solution is necessary so that we are not forced to try and match the U.S. Virgin Islands’ excessive deals to save our own industry at the expense of government services for our citizens."
The Virgin Islands has a deal with liquor giant Diageo that would result in the company securing a healthy subsidy from the proceeds of the rum tax the Virgin Islands collects on every gallon of rum. Both sides have spent millions on lobbying, but Virgin Islands Gov. John deJongh said in his letter that LeMieux's amendment has harmed potential negoiations between the terrorities.