Music fans are hitting back at controversial YouTuber Logan Paul for accusing Puerto Rican reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny of taking advantage of the island’s generous tax breaks, which the singer has criticized in the past.
Paul, who said in 2021 that the “primary reason” he relocated to the island was for financial gain, blasted Bad Bunny as a hypocrite during an appearance this week on Philip DeFranco Report on YouTube.
“It’s hard because I love Bad Bunny. I think he’s an amazing entertainer, I think he’s a generational talent, but I find it hypocritical because Bad Bunny is Puerto Rican, living in Puerto Rico, who privately exploits the same tax program that publicly condemns,” Mr. Paul said.
Mr. Paul was referring to Act 22, a 2012 law that allows foreign entrepreneurs to get a tax break on passive income, such as stocks and crypto, if they invest in local residential real estate.
In a recent music video for his song “El Apagón”, Bad Bunny presents a documentary on inequality in Puerto Rico, where journalist Bianca Graulau names Mr. Paul as one of the wealthy foreigners driving gentrification, environmental damage and inequality on the island.
Mr. Paul did not provide evidence for his claims, saying only “I know this” and “There are local Puerto Ricans who know this” on the YouTube broadcast.
“Again, while I love Bad Bunny, I personally cannot support the hypocrisy of his exploitation,” Mr. Paul added.
The independent reached out to Bad Bunny, his manager and Logan Paul for comment.
It seems unlikely that Bad Bunny is benefiting from the program the vlogger is referring to. Those born in Puerto Rico do not pay US federal taxes, but they are also largely ineligible for the tax incentive programs the island’s government has created in recent years.
To take advantage of Act 22, recipients cannot have lived in Puerto Rico for the past 10 years. Bad Bunny, real name Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, has lived in San Juan only in 2020 and was born in Puerto Rico.
Fans of the artist and residents of Puerto Rico were furious with the accusation.
“BREAK: White colonizer tries to expose and bend the truth after getting his feelings hurt after being called a colonizer,” Twitter user @elcielodeabril wrote in response to a video of Mr. Paul talking about Bad Bunny.
Claims that they are benefiting from the tax program are serious business in Puerto Rico, where many locals believe the government has sold out the island to wealthy foreign businessmen and investors as a means of escaping a years-long government financial crisis.
As one resident says in Bad Bunny’s music video, if things continue as they are now, “We’ll be strangers in our own land.”
The influx of new property owners in Puerto Rico has also had an environmental impact, destroying vital mangrove habitat and foreclosing portions of the beach that are public under Puerto Rican law.