Payments-Equal-to-Taxes (PETT): An Interpretation of Sections 116(c) (3) and 118(b) (4) of The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as Amended

by Allen Benson, U.S. Dep of Energy, Washington, United States,
W. Eric Moore, U.S. Dep of Energy, Washington, United States,
Robert Lesko, U.S. Dep of Energy, Washington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of either the U.S. Department of Energy or of Deloitte & Touche. The Payments-Equal-To-Taxes (PETT) program breaks new ground in government interaction by creating a tax-like transfer of funds from the federal government to states and local government. The PETT program is one of the financial assistance provisions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended [42 U.S.C. 10101, et seg.] (NWPAA). The NWPAA charges the U.S. Department of Energy with, among other things, the responsibility for investigation of potential sites and for licensing, constructing, and operating a repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent fuel and an MRS facility. The NWPAA also calls for financial assistance to the jurisdictions in which the repository and MRS facility are to be located. One of the financial impacts to the jurisdictions would be loss of tax revenue since the Supremacy clause of the Constitution prohibits jurisdictions from taxing the federal government. The objective of the PETT program is to provide payments that will offset this loss. Since the NWPAA authorizes continued site characterization activities only in the State of Nevada, the focus of this paper will be on the PETT program in Nevada. However, the information presented here generally applies to implementation of the program in other states where site characterization activities have been conducted.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Federal government | Waste sites | Financial management | Local government | Jurisdiction | State government | Site investigation | Nevada | United States

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