Tax Law Updates | New Proposed Regulations

July 6, 2010

Reinstatement of Superfund “Polluter Pays” Tax Strongly Sought in the Aftermath of Gulf Oil Spill

Reinstatement of Superfund “Polluter Pays”Tax
No. _____, 6/21/2010

Reinstatement of Superfund “Polluter Pays” Tax Strongly Sought in the Aftermath of Gulf Oil Spill

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”)  has asked Congress to reinstate the lapsed Superfund “polluter pays” taxes.

By way of background, Superfund is the federal government’s program that investigates and cleans up the nation’s most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites. If reinstated, the Superfund provision would provide a stable, dedicated source of revenue for the program and increase the pace of Superfund cleanup.

It would also ensure that parties who benefit from the manufacture or sale of substances that commonly cause environmental problems at hazardous waste sites, and not taxpayers, help bear the cost of cleanup when responsible parties cannot be identified.

The Superfund taxes expired on December 31, 1995. Since the expiration of the taxes, Superfund program funding has been largely financed from General Revenue transfers to the Superfund Trust Fund, thus burdening the taxpayer with the costs of cleaning up abandoned hazardous waste sites.

The administration is proposing to reinstate the taxes as they were last in effect on crude oil, imported petroleum products, hazardous chemicals, and imported substances that use hazardous chemicals as a feedstock, and on corporate modified alternative minimum taxable income. Under the administration’s proposal, the excise taxes and corporate environmental taxes would be reinstated for a period of 10 years beginning in January 2011.

“Since the beginning of this administration we have made it clear that we support the reinstatement of the polluter pays system for the Superfund program,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Our taxes should be paying for teachers, police officers and infrastructure that is essential for sustainable growth—not footing the bill for polluters. Today, we are formalizing our call to Congress to pass this important legislation and ensure responsible steps to keep our communities clean. In the meantime, EPA is taking action to better manage the Superfund program to increase cleanups and enhance transparency, accountability, and community input in agency decision-making.”

Also See:

First Deadline Approaches for Participation in the Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks

Administration Issues Final Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Rule

Revenue Ruling Recognizes Legal Same-Sex Marriages for Federal Tax Purposes

IRS Expands Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program

IRS to Accept Returns Claiming Education Credits by Mid-February

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Companies Mentioned

Tax Law

The following companies are mentioned in Tax Law Updates:

Internal Revenue Service

Swallows Holding, Inc.

The State of New York

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

Amazon.com LLC

Amazon Services, LLC

Textron Inc.

County of Los Angeles

TIFD III-E, Inc.

Quality Stores, Inc.

Agere Systems, Inc. f.k.a. Lucent Technologies, Inc.

Detroit Medical Center

Department of Justice

Santini Stone LLC

City of Chicago

StubHub, Inc.

Mayer Brown LLP d.b.a. Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP

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