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Waste Co. Still Obligated to Pay Taxes, Court Rules

(CN) - EnergySolutions Inc. won't be receiving two big tax breaks after all. The Utah Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that clarified the nuclear waste company's obligations under a 2001 tax law.

EnergySolutions, formerly called Envirocare, asked the top court to overturn 3rd District Judge John Paul Kennedy's decision that obligated it to pay taxes on the millions of dollars of "mitigation fees" under a contract with Tooele County, where the low-level waste site resides.

The ruling found the company is entitled to charge its customers what the market will bear, including amounts it intends to use for meeting its own Waste Tax Liability.

The company is also liable for taxes based on each waste deposit transaction. EnergySolutions described both taxes as a "tax pyramiding." But the justices said the fees were part of the cost of doing business.

"The Radioactive Waste Tax Act and its amended version, the Radioactive Waste Facility Tax Act, are unambiguous in requiring the inclusion of all payments received by Envirocare for the receipt and disposal of radioactive waste in its gross receipts for tax purposes," Chief Justice Christine Durham wrote. "The statute does not permit Envirocare to deduct from its gross receipts amounts it bills customers for use either in paying its Waste Tax or in meeting its contractual obligations to Tooele County."

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