Monday, October 24, 2016

CARBON TAX - View From State of Washington

"Pay for carbon pollution?  Why some environmentalists don't support this state tax" PBS NewsHour 10/20/2016

NOTE:  "The state of Washington is one of only seven states that does not levy a personal income tax."  They use a sales tax system.


SUMMARY:  In Washington state, economist Yoram Bauman is leading a campaign to cut carbon emissions by imposing a revenue-neutral carbon tax.  Everyone would have to pay, but instead of creating more revenue, existing taxes like the state sales tax would be cut.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports that the opponents and proponents of the measure are not who you might expect.

YORAM BAUMAN, Carbon Washington:  You might be an economist if you don't read human interest stories because they don't interest you.


PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  At Seattle's Museum of Flight earlier this year, Climate Night, headlining, Yoram Bauman, who claims, with a straight face, that he's the world's first and only economic comic.

YORAM BAUMAN:  You might be an economist if you have ever gone into a bank or other financial institution in the hopes of getting a date.


YORAM BAUMAN:  If you adamantly refuse to sell your children because you think they will be worth more later.


PAUL SOLMAN:  But when we visited Seattle in April, Bauman had begun a dead serious fight, to combat climate change in his home state of Washington by imposing a tax on carbon emissions.  He'd founded the grassroots group Carbon Washington to put the issue to voters.

MAN:  Initiative 732, it's going to be on the November ballot.

MAN:  I-732 works by charging polluters with a carbon fee, which lowers pollution.

WOMAN:  And then the revenue that is created will go to reducing other taxes in the state.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Making the carbon tax, starting at $25 per ton of CO2, about 25 cents per gallon of gasoline, revenue-neutral.

YORAM BAUMAN:  The revenue from the carbon tax goes to cut existing taxes.  Most of it goes to cut the state sales tax by a full percentage point.

Most households are going to pay a few hundred dollars a year more for fossil fuels and a few hundred dollars a year less for everything else.

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