Puerto Ricans Tell Logan Paul to “GO HOME!” How Massive Tax Breaks Are Driving Many from Their Homes

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Why are a growing number of Puerto Ricans now calling people like Logan Paul “colonizers” and demanding that they “go home?” Well, as one TikToker explained: “I told you that tensions are rising in Puerto Rico, and here is another example. Flyers like these can be found in San Juan, and they read, ‘This is what our colonizers look like.’ This is written on a major highway in San Juan, and if you’ve been following my reporting, you’d know that there is backlash against tax breaks that are inviting wealthy people — mostly from the continental U.S. — to move to Puerto Rico.” Right, wealthy investors are moving to Puerto Rico at record rates, and it’s causing serious issues for locals. Many of the mainlanders settling the island are doing so to take advantage of tax incentives that were created to attract outside money to Puerto Rico, which is climbing out of bankruptcy. Under the tax break law, resident investors must acquire residency and buy property in Puerto Rico within two years of moving to qualify for a reduction of income taxes on long-term capital gains, dividends, interest, as well as revenues from their services. Now notably, this law has been in place in some fashion since 2012, but the appeal of the tax breaks have increased significantly in recent years. Right, after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, displacing thousands from their homes, housing prices dropped and investors moved in to swoop up the cheaper properties. And the number of applications from people trying to become resident investors has skyrocketed during the pandemic as more people move to remote work. According to The New York Times, as of this past October, the island had received a record 1,349 applications in 2021. And as The Times notes, while there are new settlers beyond just those who want tax breaks, “it is the finance and tech investors who have formally applied for tax-break status who have drawn the most attention.” Specifically, the island has attracted many cryptocurrency traders, but other prominent names have moved there as well. Right, last February, Logan Paul announced on his podcast that he was moving from Los Angeles to Puerto Rico, And while he claimed the tax breaks weren’t his primary reason for moving, he did cite them as one of the reasons: “It’s crazy here in California, paying taxes, and for what? The streets are not fixed, homeless people everywhere, a dearth of employment, Covid not handled. Right, like I don’t know. I don’t love it.” Right, these resident investors aren’t just moving to the island: many of them are also buying residential properties that they either resell at higher prices or turn them into vacation rentals. Not only does this turn entire neighborhoods into Airbnbs for more wealthy tourists, it also creates a housing shortage that makes it harder for residents who have been pushed out of their homes to afford new ones. Especially given that 43% of Puerto Ricans live under the federal poverty line. And to make matters even worse, the over three million Puerto Ricans already living on the island don’t get the same tax breaks that are causing all of this in the first place, Because in order for an investor to qualify, they have to prove they haven’t been a resident of Puerto Rico for at least 10 years prior. So as a result, this whole situation has prompted a ton of outrage among many locals, who have pushed for the end of the tax breaks and for the resident investors to leave.
Right, as showcased in that viral TikTok, graffiti telling settlers to “go home” has been cropping up all over the island. As have anti-gentrification posters, like these ones that show pictures of Logan Paul and Bitcoin billionaire Brock Pierce with the text “This is what our colonizers look like.”

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Produced by: Cory Ray
Edited by: James Girardier, Julie Goldberg, Maxwell Enright
Art Department: William Crespo
Writing/Research: Philip DeFranco, Lili Stenn
Production Team: Zack Taylor, Emma Leid
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