No More Tax Deductions for BP Oil Spill

On Thursday July 2nd the BP settlement was announced requiring BP Oil Company to pay $18.7 billion in damages as a result of gross negligence in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but there are indications that only $5.5 billion of that settlement will be non-tax deductible.

BP has already paid about $42 billion to address the Deepwater Horizon disaster since oil first started spilling in 2010. About 80% of those payments have qualified for tax deductions, effectively shifting the cost of BP's "gross negligence" onto taxpayers.

These write offs send the wrong message. They diminish the value of settlements as a deterrent to future misbehavior. They are also costly for the public because taxpayers must make up for the lost revenue through cuts to public programs, higher tax rates, or more federal debt.

It's time to demand an end to holding tax-payers accountable for corporate misconduct: no more write-offs for corporate wrong doing.