Laboratory Research:

Sales and Use Tax Costs to Build DOE's Spallation Neutron Source Project

RCED-00-33R: Published: Nov 19, 1999. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 1999.

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James E. Wells, Jr
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the tax expenses associated with building the Department of Energy's Spallation Neutron Source project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, focusing on whether it would be less expensive to build the project at any of the other participating national laboratories.

GAO noted that: (1) the cost of sales and use taxes to build the project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, using Lockheed Martin or University of Tennessee and Battelle Memorial Institute (UT-Battelle), would be more than if the project were built at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, where the current managing contractor and subcontractors incur virtually no sales and use taxes; (2) this is because New York has exemptions that Brookhaven's contractor, a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization, and its for-profit subcontractors can use; (3) in contrast, Tennessee does not have similar tax exemptions that the current or incoming Oak Ridge contractor qualifies for; and (4) thus Lockheed Martin, a for-profit organization, and UT-Battelle, a not-for-profit, limited liability corporation that is not recognized by Tennessee as tax-exempt, would pay sales and use taxes.

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