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Summary

This proposed law would impose an excise tax on oil, toxic chemicals, and other hazardous substances, and would direct that the money raised, along with the fees paid by hazardous waste transporters and specific revenues under other state laws, be deposited in the state Environmental Challenge Fund. Money in the Fund would be used, subject to legislative appropriation, to assess and clean up sites that have been or may be contaminated by oil or hazardous materials, and to carry out and enforce the excise.

As of July 1, 1993, the excise would apply to persons, businesses, and other entities possessing 50,000 pounds or more of oil and toxic chemicals covered by the proposed law. Toxic chemicals would be covered if classified as toxic by the federal Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) under federal law. As of July 1,1994, substances listed as hazardous by the EPA under federal law would also become subject to the excise.

Until June 30, 1995, the excise would be two-tenths of one cent ($0,002) per pound. In later years, the state Commissioner of Revenue would set the excise rate at a level, not to exceed two-tenths of one cent per pound, sufficient to yield $35 million annually in 1995 dollars.

The excise would not apply to gasoline or other special engine fuels, jet fuel taxed under other state law, numbers 1 or 2 fuel oil, kerosene, animal or vegetable oil, or waste oil classified as hazardous waste under other state law. Nor would the excise apply to oils, toxic chemicals, or hazardous substances merely being shipped through Massachusetts; or contained in a consumer product intended for retail sale; or present in a mixture at a concentration of less than one percent; or present in hazardous waste being transported by a licensed hazardous waste transporter who had paid or will pay a transporter fee under state law; or for which the excise tax has already been paid under the proposed law and which have not been reprocessed or recycled since payment of the excise.

The excise also would not apply to oils, toxic chemicals, or hazardous substances that are possessed by individuals for personal, non-business purposes; or are contained in vehicles or vessels intended to be used for normal purposes; or are produced in Massachusetts as a by-product of pollution control equipment or the clean-up of hazardous materials and are handled in compliance with federal and state environmental laws. Finally, the excise would not apply to toxic chemicals or hazardous substances in a manufactured product the use of which requires a specific shape or design and which does not release toxic substances under normal use.

Under the proposed law, the excise would ordinarily be collected from the first person or business within Massachusetts to come into possession of materials subject to the tax. If that person or business had not paid the excise a later possessor could be required to pay the excise and could then recover a corresponding amount from the first possessor. The proposed law would provide credits for excises paid on materials that become ingredients in the manufacture of other materials subject to the tax, and it would provide credits for similar excises or taxes paid to other states.

Persons possessing more than 25,000 pounds of materials subject to the excise in any six-month period would be required to obtain a license from the Commissioner of Revenue. The Commissioner could issue regulations establishing recordkeeping and reporting requirements for persons possessing such materials. The Commissioner would collect the excise through procedures similar to those for other state taxes and could issue regulations to implement the proposed law.

The proposed law states that if any of its provisions were declared invalid, the other provisions would remain in effect.

1992 Nov 3 :: State of Massachusetts :: Question 4 :: Initiative PetitionDo you approve of a law summarized below, on which no vote was taken by the Senate or the House of Representatives before May 6, 1992?

View as: # | %  
Ward
Yes
No
Blank Votes Total Votes Cast Total Ballots Cast
Totals
 
14,383
13,038
3,328
27,421
30,749
Precinct 1
 
402
553
170
955
1,125
Precinct 2
 
487
692
139
1,179
1,318
Precinct 3
 
476
604
107
1,080
1,187
Precinct 1
 
600
493
143
1,093
1,236
Precinct 2
 
747
589
172
1,336
1,508
Precinct 3
 
795
544
146
1,339
1,485
Precinct 1
 
722
648
218
1,370
1,588
Precinct 2
 
702
577
144
1,279
1,423
Precinct 3
 
779
643
150
1,422
1,572
Precinct 1
 
350
510
85
860
945
Precinct 2
 
464
628
180
1,092
1,272
Precinct 3
 
594
586
126
1,180
1,306
Precinct 1
 
534
673
159
1,207
1,366
Precinct 2
 
593
687
152
1,280
1,432
Precinct 3
 
857
608
162
1,465
1,627
Precinct 1
 
1,098
693
161
1,791
1,952
Precinct 2
 
1,042
667
165
1,709
1,874
Precinct 3
 
898
520
130
1,418
1,548
Precinct 1
 
874
658
192
1,532
1,724
Precinct 2
 
662
654
234
1,316
1,550
Precinct 3
 
707
811
193
1,518
1,711
Totals
 
14,383
13,038
3,328
27,421
30,749