Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the Ways and Means committee, issued the following statement after introducing the Mayflower Oil Spill Tax Relief Act (H.R. 2724):
"The oil spill in Mayflower has been a difficult ordeal for many families. Their lives were turned upside down and many were impacted financially. Those affected by this nightmare deserve to be compensated fully and fairly, but the IRS plans to tax them on it. That's not right, and I've urged ExxonMobil to cover those costs. But to ensure these families won't have to pay the IRS on the disaster relief they receive, I've introduced the Mayflower Oil Spill Tax Relief Act. These families didn't ask for this spill, and they shouldn't be forced to pay the IRS more because of it."
Since the oil spill on March 29, Rep. Griffin has toured the cleanup site several times, most recently last week, and remains in constant contact with residents and representatives of the Unified Command, and has also called for relocating the Pegasus pipeline away from Lake Maumelle.
H.R. 2724 will prevent compensation provided by ExxonMobil to Mayflower residents from being taxable by classifying it as "a qualified disaster relief payment" under current law. This could protect the impacted families from facing thousands of dollars in additional taxes.
In a presidentially-declared disaster, such as those that occurred in Oklahoma and New Jersey, any benefits provided would automatically be tax-exempt.
Reps. Rick Crawford (AR-01), Steve Womack (AR-03), and Tom Cotton (AR-04) are cosponsors of the legislation.