Victim Compensation From Mayflower Oil Spill Not Taxed Under Senate Plan

Jul 24, 2013

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate Wednesday is expected to ensure Mayflower oil spill victims get tax relief. 

An image from the oil spill in Mayflower.
Credit KUAR

Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansans says The Mayflower Oil Spill Tax Relief Act of 2013 aims to protect affected residents by making sure compensation from ExxonMobil is not taxed by the federal government. 

In a conference call with reporters, Pryor said the legislation has specific goals.

“The bill would exempt things like personal, family, and living expenses as a result of the spill… it would basically just help [residents] on their taxes,” said Pryor. “If they have expenses for repair, replacement, or rehabilitation of their residence, then the bill would allow some additional tax relief.”

Pryor worked on the bill with Senator John Boozman. Both say the legislation would protect Mayflower families who receive compensation by classifying the contributions under current law as “qualified disaster relief payments.”

Boozman admits much still needs to be done at the federal and state levels to reimburse residents.

“Everybody agrees that there was so much damage and the oil company pays for that, but what we don’t want is for people to have to pay taxes on the amount that they get from the incident,” Boozman said. “Hopefully, we will get this done. It’s very important and it’s the right thing to do.”

Boozman says he and Pryor will work with Senate leadership to gain final approval of the measure in a timely manner.