The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 32: Taxation and Finance

Chapter 237: TAX ON HAZARDOUS WASTE

§ 10101. Definitions

The following definitions shall apply throughout this chapter unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) All terms defined in 10 V.S.A. § 6602 shall have the same meaning for purposes of this chapter that they have for purposes of 10 V.S.A. chapter 159.

(2) "Acutely hazardous waste" means those specification and off-specification commercial chemical products or manufacturing chemical intermediates which are listed at 40 C.F.R. § 261.33(e), as that list may be amended by rule of the Secretary, if and when they are discarded or intended to be discarded. This definition does not include other materials or wastes which contain these listed substances.

(3) "Long-term storage" means storage for a period of more than one year.

(4) "Tax" or "taxes" shall include tax, interest, penalties, and late fees imposed under this chapter.

(5) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Taxes or any person authorized by the Commissioner (directly or indirectly by one or more redelegations of authority) to perform the functions described in this chapter.

(6) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Natural Resources or any person authorized by the Secretary (directly or indirectly by one or more redelegations of authority) to perform the functions described in this chapter. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7; amended 1987, No. 76, § 18.)


§ 10102. Powers of the Commissioner and Secretary

(a) In addition to any other powers granted to the Commissioner and the Secretary in this chapter, they may:

(1) issue, amend, and repeal from time to time reasonable regulations to assist in the administration and enforcement of this chapter, provided however, that those rules may not in any way alter, abridge or condition the express terms of this chapter;

(2) for cause shown, waive, reduce, or compromise any of the taxes, penalties, interest, or other amounts provided in this chapter;

(3) delegate to any agent or employee under their supervision such powers as the Commissioner or Secretary may deem necessary to carry out efficiently the provisions of this chapter;

(4) require any person required to pay the tax imposed by this chapter to keep detailed records of the description, volume, and destination of hazardous waste handled by such person and to furnish that information upon request to the Commissioner or Secretary; and

(5) require the attendance of, the giving of testimony by, and the production of any books and records of any person believed to be liable for the payment of tax or to have information pertinent to any matter under investigation by the Commissioner or the Secretary. The fees of witnesses required to attend any hearing shall be the same as those allowed witnesses appearing in the Superior Court, but no fees shall be payable to a person charged with a tax liability under this chapter. Any Superior judge may, upon application of the Commissioner or the Secretary, compel the attendance of witnesses, the giving of testimony, and the production of books and records before the Commissioner or the Secretary in the same manner, to the same extent, and subject to the same penalties as if before a Superior Court.

(b) For cause shown, the Commissioner may authorize the Secretary to calculate the tax liability of any person on a monthly or more frequent basis. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7; amended 1997, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 220.)


§ 10103. Tax imposed; exemptions

(a) Any person initiating a shipment of hazardous waste in Vermont, who is required to file a manifest, or other similar report, pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq.), as amended from time to time, or under 10 V.S.A. chapter 159 and the rules adopted under that chapter, shall pay a tax based on the quantity of hazardous waste required to be reported on such manifest or other report, as follows:

(1) hazardous waste destined to be recycled for a beneficial purpose as defined by the Secretary, except as specified in subdivision (3) of this subsection, shall be taxed at the rate of 11 cents per gallon of liquid or 01.4 cents per pound of solid;

(2) hazardous waste destined for any form of management other than recycling, except as specified in subdivision (3) of this subsection, shall be taxed at the rate of 23.6 cents per gallon of liquid or 3.0 cents per pound of solid;

(3) hazardous waste destined for any form of management shall be taxed at the rate of 01.0 cent per pound, if all of the following apply:

(A) it is shipped from a storage or collection facility for which financial responsibility is required and maintained under 10 V.S.A. § 6605 or 6606 or the rules adopted under those sections;

(B) it is not generated by the owner or operator of the storage or collection facility;

(C) it has not been previously taxed in Vermont; and

(D) it has not been held onsite for more than 180 days.

(b) The following hazardous wastes are exempt from the tax imposed by subsections (a) and (e) of this section provided that the exemption is noted on a manifest or other report in the manner prescribed by the Secretary:

(1) hazardous waste which is generated as a result of any action taken under 10 V.S.A. § 1283 for which disbursements from the environmental contingency fund have been or will be made by the Secretary;

(2) [Deleted.]

(3) hazardous waste which is destined for treatment in an onsite waste water treatment unit to produce a material which is not hazardous before entering a public sewer system or waters of the State, but the tax does apply to any residue of treatment which is a hazardous waste;

(4) for any calendar quarter, hazardous waste generated by a person who generated an average of less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month per site or 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste per month per site during that calendar quarter;

(5) hazardous waste generated by a facility onsite that is recycled onsite;

(6) hazardous waste that has been previously taxed in Vermont, provided:

(A) the person shipping the previously taxed waste has not held the waste for more than 180 days; and

(B) if the waste has been mixed, the resulting mixture does not change the applicable U.S. Department of Transportation shipping description from that which applied before the waste was mixed;

(7) hazardous waste shipped in implementing a corrective action plan approved by the Secretary of Natural Resources under 10 V.S.A. § 6615a, the redevelopment of contaminated properties program, provided that the Secretary issues a certificate of completion, as provided under that section.

(c) The following persons are exempt from the tax imposed by subsections (a) and (e) of this section provided they meet the conditions of the exemption:

(1) A person who pays a tax on hazardous waste pursuant to this section shall not be further taxed for such hazardous waste, provided that such hazardous waste is stored or reshipped by the same person, without change in the applicable U.S. Department of Transportation shipping description. The person shall note the previously taxed hazardous waste on a manifest in the manner prescribed by the Secretary.

(2) Any person who initiates a manifest to import hazardous waste into Vermont from a foreign country shall not be required to pay a tax under subsection (a) of this section, provided that this exemption is noted on the manifest in the manner prescribed by the Secretary.

(d) The tax imposed by this chapter shall be deposited in the Environmental Contingency Fund established under 10 V.S.A. § 1283 and the Hazardous Waste Management Assistance Account of the Waste Management Assistance Fund established under 10 V.S.A. § 6618, as required by the Secretary of Natural Resources under that section.

(e) Any facility required to obtain certification under 10 V.S.A. § 6606 and the rules adopted under that section, which recycles, treats, or disposes of hazardous waste shall pay a tax based on the quantity of hazardous waste recycled, treated, or disposed of at the facility in a calendar quarter. Each facility shall report the quantity of hazardous waste recycled, treated, or disposed of in a calendar quarter no later than 30 days after the end of the quarter. The following tax rates shall apply:

(1) hazardous waste which is recycled shall be taxed at the rate of 11 cents per gallon of liquid or 1.4 cents per pound of solid;

(2) hazardous waste which is treated shall be taxed at the rate of 15.7 cents per gallon of liquid or 2.0 cents per pound of solid; and

(3) hazardous waste which is land disposed or land treated shall be taxed at the rate of 23.6 cents per gallon of liquid or 03.0 cents per pound of solid. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7; amended 1989, No. 282 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. June 22, 1990; 1995, No. 47, § 19; 1997, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2003, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 12, 2004.)


§ 10104. Duties of Secretary and Commissioner

(a) On or before the last day of the month following each calendar quarter, the Secretary shall calculate the amount of tax due under this chapter based on information required to be reported on a manifest or other report during that calendar quarter, and shall supply the Commissioner with the name, address, and amount of tax owed by each person required to pay tax for that quarter.

(b) If the Secretary finds that any person has failed to report in full the description, volume, or destination of hazardous waste required to be reported on a manifest or other report, the Secretary may determine the person's liability for the tax imposed by this chapter based on any information available and shall supply the Commissioner with such information on or before the last day of the month following the calendar quarter in which such determination is made.

(c) Upon receipt of the information supplied by the Secretary, the Commissioner shall bill each person required to pay tax. The tax assessed under this chapter shall be payable upon receipt of a bill from the Commissioner. (Added 1985, No. 7, § 7; amended 1997, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)


§ 10105. Failure to pay tax; criminal penalties

(a) Any person who fails to pay a tax liability imposed under this chapter within 30 days after the date of billing by the Commissioner shall be subject to and governed by the provisions of section 5875 of this title.

(b) Any person who willfully fails to pay a tax liability imposed under this chapter when due or to supply any information required by this chapter or who willfully makes, renders, signs, verifies, or files any false or fraudulent manifest, report, or information, shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or be imprisoned not more than one year, or both. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7; amended 1997, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.)


§ 10106. Notice of deficiency

(a) If the Commissioner finds that any taxpayer has failed to discharge in full the amount of any tax liability incurred under this chapter, or that a penalty or interest should be assessed under it, the Commissioner shall notify the taxpayer of the deficiency or assess the penalty or interest, as the case may be.

(b) The Commissioner may notify a taxpayer of a deficiency with respect to the payment of any tax liability imposed under this chapter or assess a penalty or interest with respect thereto at any time within three years after the date that the taxpayer was originally required to file a manifest or other report; provided, however, that if a taxpayer fails to file a proper manifest or other report at the time prescribed for its filing, the notification or assessment may be made at any time before the end of three years after the taxpayer files such a manifest or other report; and if no manifest or report has been filed or if the deficiency is caused by reason of fraud or the willful intent of the taxpayer to defeat or evade a requirement of this chapter, the notification or assessment may be made at any time; and provided further that if the taxpayer and the Commissioner agree, the notification or assessment may be made at any time before the date so agreed upon.

(c) The exclusive remedy of a taxpayer with respect to a notification of deficiency or assessment of a penalty or interest shall be to petition for determination of the deficiency or assessment as provided by section 10109 of this title and appeal from which adverse determination of deficiency or assessment. Upon the failure of a taxpayer to petition in accordance with section 10109 of this title from a notice of deficiency or assessment under section 10106 of this title, or to appeal in accordance with section 10109 of this title from a determination of a deficiency or assessment, the taxpayer shall be bound by the terms of the notification, assessment, or determination. The taxpayer shall not thereafter contest, either directly or indirectly, the tax liability as therein set forth, in any proceeding including, without limitation, a proceeding upon a claim of refund of all or any part of any payment made with respect to the tax liability, or a proceeding for the enforcement or collection of all or any part of the tax liability. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7; amended 1997, No. 50, § 38, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)


§ 10107. Refunds

(a) At any time within three years after the date a tax is due under this chapter, a taxpayer may petition the Commissioner for the refund of all or any part of the amount of tax paid. This shall be a taxpayer's exclusive remedy with respect to the refund of taxes under this chapter.

(b) If the Commissioner determines that a taxpayer has paid an amount of tax under this chapter which, as of the date of the determination, exceeds the amount of tax liability owing from the taxpayer to the State, with respect to all taxes administered by the Commissioner and with respect to the current and all preceding taxable years, the Commissioner shall forthwith refund the excess amount to the taxpayer together with interest at the rate per annum established from time to time by the Commissioner pursuant to section 3108 of this title. That interest shall be computed from 45 days after the date the return with respect to which the excess payment was made was filed or from 45 days after the date the return was due, including any extensions of time thereto, whichever is the later date.

(c) If the Commissioner determines that the taxpayer is not entitled to all or a part of the refund requested, the Commissioner shall notify the taxpayer of the denial of the refund request. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7; amended 1997, No. 50, § 39, eff. June 26, 1997.)


§ 10108. Mailing of notice

Any notice under this chapter may be given by mailing it to the person for whom it is intended in a postpaid envelope addressed to that person at the address given in a manifest or other report filed by that person or to the best address obtainable. The mailing of the notice shall be presumptive evidence of its receipt by the person to whom addressed. Any period of time which is determined under this chapter by the giving of notice shall commence to run from the date of mailing of the notice. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7.)


§ 10109. Determination by Commissioner

(a) Upon receipt of a notice of deficiency or assessment of penalty or interest under section 10106 of this title or upon receipt of a notice of the denial of all or a portion of a refund request under section 10107 of this title, the taxpayer may, within 60 days after the date of mailing of the notice or assessment, petition the Commissioner in writing for a determination of that deficiency or assessment. The Commissioner shall thereafter grant a hearing upon the matter and notify the taxpayer in writing of the Commissioner's determination concerning the deficiency, assessment or refund request.

(b) The aggrieved taxpayer may within 30 days after a determination by the Commissioner concerning a notice of deficiency, an assessment of penalty or interest, or a claim to refund, appeal that determination to the Washington Superior Court or the Superior Court of the county in which the taxpayer resides or has a place of business. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7; amended 1989, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 38; 1997, No. 50, § 40, eff. June 26, 1997.)


§ 10110. Appeal process

(a) Any hearing granted by the Commissioner under section 10109 of this title shall be subject to and governed by 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.

(b) Any aggrieved taxpayer may within 30 days appeal a determination by the Commissioner concerning a notice of deficiency, an assessment of penalty or interest, or a claim to refund, to the Washington Superior Court or the Superior Court of the county in which the taxpayer resides or has a place of business, by filing a notice of appeal and either paying or giving security, approved by the Commissioner, for the payment of any tax liability that may be determined to be due and costs of appeal. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7.)


§ 10111. Payment and collection of deficiencies and assessments; jeopardy notices

(a) Upon notification to a taxpayer of any deficiency, or upon assessment against the taxpayer of any penalty or interest, under section 10106 of this title, the amount of the deficiency or assessment shall be payable forthwith and shall be collectible by the Commissioner 30 days after the date of the notification or assessment; provided, however, that if a taxpayer timely appeals a notice or assessment, the amount of the deficiency or assessment shall be collectible 30 days after the Commissioner gives notice of the determination of the appeal or, if the taxpayer appeals to the Court, on the date the appeal becomes final.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, if the Commissioner believes that collection of any tax liability is in jeopardy, the Commissioner may demand, in writing, that the taxpayer pay the tax at once. The demand may be made concurrently with, or after, a notice of deficiency or assessment of penalty or interest is given to the taxpayer under section 10106 of this title. The amount of the tax shall be collectible by the Commissioner on the date of the demand unless the taxpayer files with the Commissioner a bond in an amount equal to the deficiency, penalty or interest sought to be collected as security for such amount as finally may be determined. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7.)


§ 10112. Action to collect taxes

Any tax liability imposed by this chapter is, from the time the tax liability becomes collectible under section 10111 of this title, a debt of the taxpayer to the state, to be recovered in an action on this title. The action shall be returnable in a county where the taxpayer resides or has a place of business, and if the taxpayer neither resides nor has a place of business in this State, the action shall be returnable in Washington County. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7.)


§ 10113. Lien

The amount of taxes to be paid under this chapter shall be a lien in favor of the State of Vermont upon all property and rights to property, whether real or personal, belonging to the person liable for the tax. The lien shall be enforced in the manner prescribed by section 5895 of this title. (Added 1985, No. 70, § 7.)