Logan Paul wrongly accused rapper Bad Bunny of 'exploiting' the same Puerto Rican tax laws that the YouTuber is taking advantage of

Side-by-side photos of bad bunny and logan paul
Logan Paul may have just kicked off a feud with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny over comments that the musician is being "hypocritical" by tax break critiques.Getty Images / Alexander Tamargo / Contributor / Christian Petersen / Staff
  • Youtuber Logan Paul has called rapper Bad Bunny a hypocrite for his "El Apagón" docu-music video.

  • Paul, faced criticism as a "colonizer," for moving to Puerto Rico in 2021 to get a tax break.

  • Paul said the rapper was using "the same tax program that he is publicly condemning."

Youtuber Logan Paul accused Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny of being "hypocritical" and "taking advantage" of Puerto Rico's tax laws after the rapper included him in a documentary about gentrification and displacement on the island.

Bunny — real name Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio — released the 20-minute doc on September 16 along with his "El Apagón" music video. The documentary centers on Act 22, a controversial tax break for foreigners which allows residents to avoid paying capital gains taxes on cryptocurrency, stocks, and real estate.

Paul makes a brief appearance in the documentary — the divisive influencer previously named tax incentives as one reason for his 2021 move to the island.

Paul, who moved with his brother Jake into a Dorado mansion reportedly worth $13 million, justified the move by saying that "it's getting crazy here in California, paying taxes." But he's been criticized as a "colonizer" by locals protesting gentrification.

In an October 5 interview with news YouTuber Philip DeFranco, Paul said it was "hypocritical" of Ocasio to make a documentary critical of foreign investment in Puerto Rico, erroneously claiming that Ocasio "takes advantage" of the same tax law as him.

"Bad Bunny is a Puerto Rican, living in Puerto Rico, who is privately taking advantage of the same tax program that he is publicly condemning," the 27-year-old Youtuber said.

"So, I see this music video that has stuck me in the middle of it — surrounded by context that makes me look like a vulture in Puerto Rico," he went on, "And again, while I love Bad Bunny, I cannot personally support the hypocritical nature of his exploitation."

But as various news outlets have pointed out, Paul was wrong in his claims about Ocasio's tax status. As a native Puerto Rican who lives on the island, Ocasio wouldn't be eligible for the same tax incentives reserved for wealthy foreigners such as Paul.

Representatives for Bad Bunny did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Ocasio is known for giving back to his community via his Good Bunny Foundation. More recently, he added QR codes to tour bracelets in support of local organizations in need.

Puerto Rico had its first net-positive migration from other parts of the US in nearly two decades in 2019, in part because of Act 22. As COVID-19 swept the globe and untethered workers from offices, digital nomads flocked to Puerto Rico's famous white-sand beaches while its tourism economy otherwise stalled. New-money investors, including millionaires minted by the crypto "gold rush," like Paul, bought up scenic properties, leading to the privatization of once-public spaces and rising real estate costs.

In the DeFranco interview, Logan Paul said he and his brother, fellow YouTuber-and-boxer Jake Paul, have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Puerto Rico, personally delivered aid after Hurricane Maria in 2017, and refurbished multiple local boxing gyms.

"We're doing what we can to help," the 27-year-old said. "And I want to do more as well. And truthfully, I should be doing more." He encouraged viewers to comment on what percentage of profits he saved thanks to Act 22 should be donated to the community.

"Like, what do you want, you know?" he continued. "Like, I don't have the answers, bro. I'm 27 years old. I've been here a year and a half."

Representatives for Logan Paul did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Between 2020 and 2021, Puerto Rico's cost of living rose by a record-breaking 7% (the most significant increase since the early 1980s), and single-family housing prices increased by over 18% between December 2020 and December 2021, Insider's Hannah Towey previously reported, citing federal data.

Act 22 is meant to bring wealthy investors to the island in the hopes of spurring investment in the local economy. Proponents have been hopeful, while critics say the tax break hasn't succeeded.

"The people coming under Act 22 are not adding that much to the Puerto Rican economy," Nobel-prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told the Center for a New Economy conference in December. "They are spending a little, but very little, and at the same time, they're raising real estate prices and the cost of living for others."

Paul has struggled to win over locals. Last year, he was criticized for driving a beach buggy across a Puerto Rican beach during turtle nesting season, potentially crushing rare turtle eggs.

At the time, the secretary of Puerto Rico's Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Rafael Machargo, issued a statement to say he'd ordered an investigation into the incident, noting that motor vehicles were prohibited on the beach apart from law enforcement agencies.

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