Homebrew Biodiesel Makers Running Afoul of Tax Laws

John Davis

The other day I told you about a pair of Wisconsin biodiesel homebrewers who have been sent a tax bill by the state for about 33 cents a gallon of what they’ve been making and using in their vehicles. Now, a Virginia man has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor tax evasion on biodiesel he’s been making and selling.

According to this story in the Roanoke (VA) Times, Sam Bolt of Carroll County, Virginia got suspended one-year jail sentences and a $250 fine. A plea bargain ended up dropping a related felony charge:

“I’m satisfied with that,” Bolt said outside the Carroll County courthouse. “Getting this over with is my concern.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Gregory Goad said things might not be over yet. There are still issues relating to tax payments the Internal Revenue Serive and the state Department of Motor Vehicles may pursue, Goad said.

“Consideration of everything else he’s got coming is why we did what we did here today,” Goad said. “He’s got a lot of issues to address outside these proceedings.”

Bolt was making biodiesel out of vegetable oil. He made about 5,600 gallons during a three-month period.

“If being innovative and supplying cheap fuel to the public to reduce the stranglehold foreign oil has on us is the charge, I’m guilty,” Bolt said outside the courthouse.”I think the American people want this.”

According to the article, even the judge in the case admitted Bolt might be a pioneer… but he said homebrewers need to get up-to-speed on fuel regulations.