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Taxes

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Apr. 22nd, 2008 | 09:08 pm

I was recently reading carbontax.org which is promoting a revenue-neutral tax to be applied to the emission of carbon into the atmosphere. To keep people from being over-taxed their plan lowers other taxes as the carbon tax increases.

It occurred to me that this is an interesting model for taxation, instead of sales or income, the state, representing the interests of the whole, could insert charges for ecosystem services to keep usage within sustainable limits.

Does the idea of financing government services through "fees on ecosystem usage" seem more fair than income or sales tax?

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Lauren

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from: hardrockgrrl
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
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Isn't this what many many economists, from Paul Krugman to The Economist, have been arguing for years? Carbon taxes rather than cap and trade? They argue that it would be more effective at reducing GHG and easier for businesses to support since they'll be able to incorporate a (somewhat) fixed rate of taxation into their forecasts, instead of guessing at what the price of carbon will be down the road. Too bad the word 'tax' is pretty much a political nonstarter. I think Chris Dodd was the only candidate who favored a tax over tradable credits.

And environmentalists have been arguing for a Green Tax Shift since the 70's.
Though wikipedia points out that an ecotax could be regressive, much like a sales tax, unless some of that revenue was given back to low-income folks in the form of, I guess, utility rebates and whatnot.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
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The way the "carbon tax" is formulated you could just as accurately call it a "Carbon Use Fee".

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