U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced the Chemical Tax Repeal Act to eliminate the Superfund Tax imposed by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (BIF).
The newly-signed infrastructure package as it stands imposes roughly $13 billion worth of taxes on 42 different chemicals, critical minerals, and metallic elements that are the building blocks of common household items such as plastics, rubber, concrete, soap, lightbulbs, and electronics. Forty percent of the country’s manufacturing plants are in Texas alone, but Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other manufacturing states as well as everyday consumers will also be harmed by increased costs.
Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said:
“With this administration, the cruelty is the point. At a time when President Biden’s inflation and supply chain crises are burdening Americans, the Superfund Tax contained in the infrastructure package will only lead to increased overhead costs for manufacturers and skyrocketing prices for everyday household items. It’s crucial we pass the Chemical Tax Repeal Act to defend hardworking American families and job creators from paying the price for the historic, out-of-control spending in Washington.”
Sen. Barrasso said:
“Increasing taxes on American chemical producers will cause immediate and lasting harm to U.S. manufacturing and competitiveness. This tax will decrease U.S. production of vital chemicals and components while raising costs for American businesses and consumers. Families are already being squeezed by skyrocketing retail prices. This misguided tax will only make matters worse. The Chemical Tax Repeal Act will allow Wyoming’s soda ash and chemical producers to continue producing the critical materials our country needs without hurting our economy.”
Sen. Inhofe said:
“The Superfund tax should have never been included in the grab-bag of bad policy decisions that Democrats passed off as an infrastructure bill in August. This measure will end up imposing hearty fees on countless every day household items—and make no mistake, Oklahomans will pay for it. Under this tax, price increases on household items will be inevitable: plastics, rubber, concrete, soap, lightbulbs and electronics. That’s why I joined Sen. Cruz to introduce the Chemical Tax Repeal Act to eliminate this harmful, unnecessary tax.”
Sen. Kennedy said:
“The fake infrastructure bill was drafted to raise taxes on and kill jobs in Louisiana specifically. Its Superfund Tax will increase taxes on our petrochemical industry by $1.3 billion, and that’s going to endanger good jobs at a time when inflation is already ravaging Louisiana families. This tax is unfair and unwise, and we need to pass the Chemical Tax Repeal Act to stop this tax before it starts hammering Louisiana’s economy.”
Sen. Toomey added:
“Instead of repurposing nearly $1 trillion in unspent ‘COVID relief,’ the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act relied on deficit spending, budget gimmicks, and an ill-conceived tax on dozens of chemicals used in consumer products. The American people are the ones who will bear the brunt of this tax hike as they see the prices they pay for everyday items ranging from shower curtains to furniture edge up even higher at a time when inflation is already at a 31-year high. To do away with this tax, I joined Senator Cruz in introducing the Chemical Tax Repeal Act.”
Read the full text of the bill here.
The Superfund Tax existed from 1987-1995, and was used to mitigate certain contaminated sites around the country with mixed success and high costs, but the BIF re-imposed the tax at twice its prior levels.
Chemistry companies and others targeted by the Superfund law have paid for Superfund site remediation several times over. As responsible parties, they’ve paid to study, clean up, and reimburse federal and state government costs at sites they contaminated. At multi-party sites, they paid the shares of responsible parties that were defunct, bankrupt, or released from liability by Congress. As corporate taxpayers, they paid again.
The American Chemistry Council estimates that this new tax would place a $1.21 billion annual tax on producers, which will be passed on to consumers as an added cost on their products.
Groups against the Superfund Tax include the National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Freedom Works, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.