Puerto Rico tries retail lottery to boost taxes
By DANICA COTO
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Monday, February 7, 2011; 12:33 PM SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Don't throw out that lunch receipt: It could be worth $1,000.
That's the idea behind a campaign to force Puerto Rico's many tiny markets, food stalls and other mom-and-pop businesses to collect sales tax.
Puerto Rico's Treasury Department is transforming receipts into lottery tickets, printing contest numbers on each receipt and holding weekly drawings for cash prizes ranging from $100 to $1,000. It also plans to have a monthly drawing for a car.
I Don't Get it?
Really I don't get it? Do they think that people will choose a vendor that has the receipt printing machines? Do they think that Flea Markets will choose to add the receipt printing machines? To the tune of $400 million, "get the puck out of here" (sorry I had a childhood flashback about seeing the Indianapolis Racers play hockey live at Market Square Arena.). Where was I? Oh yeah, unless, unless vendors are sharing some of the action.
It's hard to change someone's habits, sure if we have to buy something from Walmart, yeah sure "gimme a receipt." But I don't see anyone volunteering to make their job more complicated, that's not in a common trait in Puerto Rican nature.
It does occur to me though, I wonder who's going to earn the nice contract to install and maintain the receipt printing machines and necessary back-end processing service? If it's not outsourced, will the local lottery agency pick-up the task? With out hiring more people?