State Taxes and Interstate Hazardous Waste Shipments
Hazardous waste has been among the fastest growing components of environmental compliance costs in the United States, and often tops public opinion polls as the most important environmental problem. In recent years many states have substantially increased the rate at which they tax disposal of hazardous waste, and a few have imposed higher taxes on waste imported from other states. This chapter focuses on a research which measures the extent to which these state taxes have altered interstate shipments of hazardous waste. The primary data source for this project is an annual panel of hazardous waste disposal taxes for the forty eight continental states for recent years, compiled from Commerce Clearing House publications and from telephone conversations with state tax officials. The calculations are complicated by the fact that many states impose "retaliatory" taxes. South Carolina, for example, currently charges either $34 per ton or the per-ton fee charged by the state from which the waste originated, whichever is higher.