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Have you heard about the LUST tax?
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Did you know there is such a thing as a federal LUST tax? And I am not pulling your leg. No siree Bob, it’s a real thing.
I’ve just recently learned about this. It was imposed in 2007 and doesn’t relate in any way to former President Jimmy Carter.
Now you would think with a LUST tax and all that goes on in Washington these days, coupled with human nature, that our deficit problem would be covered by that tariff. Given all that’s revealed in an election season, we might even have a surplus of funds.
But hold on a minute, I’ve misled you a little — but it was fun.
A LUST tax is an acronym for Leaking Underground Storage Tank tax. Sounds silly doesn’t it? Sounds like something from the old Popeye cartoons where you had such things as “walking on the dock tax” and “sitting in the shade tax” or perhaps “drinking beer before breakfast tax.” Might we add, “bored with political debate tax.”
The LUST tax is a $.001-per-gallon tax imposed on taxable fuels to fund the clean up of leaking underground motor fuel storage tanks. If you want a lot of details about LUST, just go to Google and ask, “What the heck is a lust tax?” It will tell you the history of LUST, why it was imposed, who is charged this tax and how you might be refunded.
But don’t get excited about any kind of refund. We do not have a coin that represents a fraction of a penny, so look at the tax rate imposed and realize that it would take a lot of gas guzzling just to cover the cost of removing one old rusty tank.
Now I’m guessing the committee that came up with this acronym, LUST, got a kick out of that meeting that day. You can just imagine the jokes that these four letters prompted.
I think sometimes acronyms are thought up and then the wording is found to fit the initials as opposed to describing a cause and the initials just happen to spell something.
This committee could just have easily come up with the “Let’s Stick It To The Consumer Tax” but then LSICT doesn’t spell anything. Maybe it does in Russia, but not here. Or they could have called it the “Clean Up Tax.” And “CUT” does actually spell something, but as we know, “cut” and “tax” are seldom used in the sentence except during election campaigns.
They could also have called it the “Dilapidated Underground Storage Tank,” or DUST, and it would have worked just as well. That’s what the tank would return to if left there a few hundred years.
As well, it could have been called the “Old Underground Storage Tank tax,” or OUST, which also works. But let’s face it, LUST just has a ring to it.
Now the reason I had never heard of the LUST tax before is because when I buy gas it’s at a regular gas station pump and the cost breakdown isn’t printed out. But should you buy in bulk from a dealer, your receipt carries an itemization as follows: Ga. Excise Gas Tax, $.07500; Ga. Prepd Gas Tax, $.12900; Colquitt County Gas Tax, $.10896; Federal Excise, $.18300; Fed. LUST Tax, $.00100.
So the next time you pull into the gas station to fill up, you will know that you are paying a LUST tax. On a 20-gallon tank fill up, you will contribute 2 cents toward the cause. Just remember that a LUST tax has nothing to do with the convertible at the next pump, unless her daddy is opening a new business on the corner lot and something went “thunk” when they started to dig the footing.
Dwain Walden is the editor/publisher of the Moultrie Observer. He can be reached at

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