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Mexican Government Gives Tax Breaks in Baja to Help Economic Recovery After Hurricane

The Mexican Government is offering tax benefits to the northwestern state of Baja California to help its economy recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Odile.

President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a number of measures to help small businesses in the region, including exemption from income tax for all investments in reconstruction projects.

Entrepreneurs in the region will also be able to defer the payment of social security contributions for three months.

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Odile, which made landfall near Cabo San Lucas as a powerful Category 3 hurricane, toppled trees, power poles and road signs along the main highway, which at one point was swamped by rushing floodwaters. Countless windows were blown out of rental cars and high-end hotel rooms, and resort facades crumbled to the ground.

Luis Felipe Puente, national coordinator for Civil Protection, said most of the area’s power poles were blown over, leaving 239,000 people in the state of Baja California Sur without electricity. Many were also without drinkable water. Ports were closed.

Many homes and businesses were reduced to shells with only the core structure intact. The walls of an OfficeMax collapsed into the parking lot. A convenience store was torn apart with the contents of its shelves dumped to the ground, and some locals helped themselves to food, water and other goods.