NEW YORK (AP) -- Western Refining Inc. said Tuesday that its board authorized a special dividend of $1.50 per share to be paid ahead of potential increases in dividend tax rates.
The El Paso, Texas, refining and marketing company will pay the dividend on Dec. 28 to shareholders of record Dec. 21.
The latest payout follows another special dividend of $1 per share, paid on Dec. 7.
Western Refining joins a growing number of companies moving up regular payouts or issuing a special end-of year dividends to protect investors from potentially higher taxes on dividend income starting in January.
Since 2003 investors have paid a maximum 15 percent on dividend income. That historically low rate will expire in January unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach a compromise on taxes and government spending. As it stands, dividends will be taxed as ordinary income in 2013, the same as wages, so rates will go up depending on which income bracket a taxpayer is in. For the highest earners, the dividend rate would jump to 43.4 percent.
Shares of Western Refining rose 16 cents to close at $28.64. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $11.73 and $29.38.