U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman today introduced legislation that would ensure Arkansans who receive compensation from ExxonMobil for the Mayflower pipeline spill are not taxed by the federal government. The Mayflower Oil Spill Tax Relief Act of 2013 would protect Mayflower families who receive compensation by classifying these contributions under current law as "qualified disaster relief payment."
"Families in Mayflower are still coping with the aftermath of the oil spill--damaged homes, lost possessions, and the disruption of everyday life," Pryor said. "The last thing they need--or deserve--is to have their compensation taxed. That's why I was proud to team up with Senator Boozman on this common-sense bill. I'll continue to do everything I can to help those affected by this spill."
"Mayflower families who are victims of this oil spill are rightfully being compensated by ExxonMobil for being forced out of their homes because of this disaster. These hardworking Arkansans shouldn't be required to pay taxes on this disaster relief assistance. Much like victims of federal disaster areas are exempt from disaster relief payments, these families also deserve that benefit," Boozman said.
On March 29, 2013, the ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured spilling an estimated 147,000 gallons of oil into the neighborhood. 66 Mayflower families received financial relief from ExxonMobil. 22 of those families were evacuated and only three have returned home.
Rep. Tim Griffin introduced similar legislation in the House that has the support of the Arkansas Congressional delegation.