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Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Puerto Rico Is Open For Business

Puerto Rico has the highest vaccination in the nation. More than 73% of the total population is fully vaccinated. The U.S. national average is just over 57%. The ports opened in June 2020 and San Juan held its first live concert this past summer. It is important to remember that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and there is no need for visas. The banking system is almost identical to the mainland, and the Island uses the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. dollar as its currency. There are thousands of flights from the U.S. to Puerto Rico daily and all main airlines fly to the Island.

Puerto Rico is known for its tax incentives program to promote the investment of foreign companies in the Island. The Puerto Rico Incentives Code (Act 60) passed on July 1, 2019, has standardized 15-year term tax exemptions, which could be extended for an additional fifteen years. Some of the exemptions are directed to Export (Services and Goods), Financial and Insurance Services, Visitor Economy, Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Farming, Creative Industries, Entrepreneurship, Air and Sea Transport.

All residents of Puerto Rico are exempt from U.S. federal taxes, and Puerto Rico is in charge of making its own local tax laws. As an example, an export service company that sets up an office in Puerto Rico can get a 4% corporate tax rate and full tax exemption on all dividends. The company is only required to hire one local employee if the company's annual revenue is over $3 million. Furthermore, the Act offers full exemption from all local taxes on passive income to individuals that have not lived in Puerto Rico for the last ten years. It also requires the individual to purchase residential property and to donate at least $10,000 a year to a local non-profit.

The location of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean makes it ideal for business. The Island has two international airports, and it has three major ports. Furthermore, Puerto Rico's legal system is similar to the mainland, and the Island’s law schools are approved by the American Bar Association. Attorneys admitted in U.S. jurisdictions can appear ad hoc without much trouble. In addition, there is a United States District Court, and its appeals are taken to the First Circuit in Boston.

Puerto Rico provides similar benefits as any tax haven jurisdiction and also provides a strong rule of law to protect the interest of any business. Puerto Rico is the best of both worlds.

For additional questions, please contact International Law Attorney Omar Carmona at ocarmona@bmdpl.com.

Protections Under Federal and Ohio Law for Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers of Contaminated Property

Most industrial/commercial property developers are generally aware of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), often also referred to as “Superfund”. CERCLA, a United Stated federal law administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was created, in part, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized that environmental cleanup could help promote reuse or redevelopment of contaminated, potentially contaminated, and formerly contaminated properties, helping revitalize communities that may have been adversely affected by the presence of the contaminated properties. Commercial property developers should be aware that CERCLA provides for some important liability limitations for landowners that own contaminated property impacted by materials hazardous to the environment. It can also assist with landowners concerned about the potential liabilities stemming from the presence of contamination to which they have not contributed. In particular, CERCLA provides important liability limitations for landowners that qualify as (1) bona fide prospective purchasers (BFPPS), (2) contiguous property owners, or (3) innocent landowners.

Ohio Medical Board Changes Telemedicine Rules

A SCMS News Article by Scott Sandrock.

The Rising Threat from Insiders – Get Your House in Order

As its name implies, an ‘Insider Threat’ originates inside an organization. An ‘insider’ is any person who has or had authorized access to or knowledge of an organization’s resources, including personnel, facilities, information, equipment, networks, and systems. ‘Insider threat’ can manifest from malicious, complacent, negligent or unintentional acts that negatively affect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the organization, its data, personnel, or facilities. Certainly, ‘Insider Threat’ can be an activity by a bad actor employee, but can also arise from an inadvertent or unknowing action inside an organization (such as an employee who unintentionally opens a phishing email or clicks on a malicious link).

In Cybersecurity– A Good Offense is the Best Defense

2021 has been a watershed moment for cybersecurity incidents as cybercrime has become a frequent headline and cyber criminals have thrived on unsuspecting and/or unprepared businesses and institutions. For example, the Solar Winds attack exposed sensitive data from top companies like Microsoft as well government agencies[1] and the Colonial Pipeline attack substantially disrupted the petroleum supply chain[2]. We have seen an almost 20% increase in data breaches and attacks since last year.

Changes to Medicare’s Physician Fee Schedule and Outpatient Prospective Payment System

Come the beginning of 2022, both the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (“MPFS”) and Outpatient Prospective Payment System (“OPPS”) will look a little different. As a refresher, the MPFS lists the fees associated with reimbursement of services to providers at certain facilities, taking into account geography and costs. By contrast, OPPS sets reimbursement rates for hospitals and community mental health centers for outpatient services, which are determined in advance. A summary of some of the more pertinent changes to each rule will be outlined below.