Energy Tax Hike Series: Superfund Tax Reinstated
The President’s FY 2011 budget contains hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes on energy production and consumption. These taxes will result in higher prices at the pump, increased utility bills and less American energy jobs as companies flee the U.S. to avoid these industry crippling taxes. The full energy tax booklet is available here.
Reinstating the Superfund tax, resulting in billions of dollars of new taxes, is one of the President’s 2011 proposals.
Superfund excise taxes were imposed in years before 1996. They included a tax on domestic crude oil and imported petroleum products at a rate of $9.7 per barrel; a tax on hazardous chemicals at a varying rate of $0.22 to $4.87 per ton; and a tax on imported substances that use hazardous materials in their production.
The Superfund Environmental Income Tax refers to a corporate environmental income tax imposed before January 1, 1996 at a rate of 0.12 percent for corporations whose incomes exceeded $2 million.
The revenue from these taxes was assigned to the Hazardous Substance Superfund Trust Fund. Money from the Superfund Trust Fund was available for expenditures related to hazardous substances released into the environment.
The Obama budget reinstates the Superfund taxes which are expected to cost approximately $19 billion over 10 years.
Superfund was initially conceived as a way to target companies as potential victims of trial lawyer activists. Companies who have been accused of alleged improper hazardous waste disposal are not only targeted by bureaucrats, but trial lawyers milking the Superfund with extraneous lawsuits, trolling for potential “victims” of the alleged environmental violation.
Not only are the owners of said company liable for alleged damages, so is anyone who was operating or working at the site at the time, any worker or non-employee who took part in arranging the alleged improper disposal, or any person who transported any material to the site.
Simply put, if you are the unfortunate worker who happened to be transporting materials or signed a shipping order on the day the trial lawyers show up, not only could you lose your job, but face a massive EPA-backed lawsuit.
Superfund is nothing more than a slush-fund for trial lawyers by which they use the tools of the government to identify potential “victims.”