6-9-16 – No thanks to carbon tax

By John McClaughry

In a letter published May 22 (“Opinion: Carbon tax no pie-in-the-sky”), Steve Sobel presented the argument for a “carefully planned tax on carbon pollution without increasing the overall tax burden.” This is somewhat less than candid.

The VPIRG-promoted carbon tax will fall on everybody who uses gasoline, diesel, home heating fuel, propane and natural gas. When fully implemented in 2028, the tax would rake in around $500 million a year.

“Without increasing the overall tax burden” is another VPIRG fiction. Why? Because the special favorites of the VPIRG Energy Independence Coalition will pocket 10 percent of the proceeds off the top, in the form of wind, solar and weatherization subsidies. So much for “revenue neutral.”

The bill says the remainder will be redistributed by lowering the sales tax rate by about penny, and other targeted rebates and reductions to “address social inequities” (Sobel). But that’s assuming that the chronically cash strapped Legislature will actually approve any tax reductions, once they have the exciting prospect of all that new money to spend.

In its opening letter to legislators, the EIV cleverly observed that “based on legislative priorities, carbon tax revenue could of course be used for other purposes.” In plain English, vote for hundreds of millions in new carbon tax revenues, promise certain people offsetting tax reductions, and when you get your hands on all that money you can conveniently forget about those promises and spend the loot on your favorite programs, or new ones.”

This is an imaginative scam – but no, thanks.

– John McClaughry is the founder and vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jim bulmer June 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm

carbon tax??? Horse feathers!!! Let’s be honest and open for a change!! Just one more example of solar and wind needing a big cruch to survive pluse another sceme to redistribute wealth. Unfortunately, those who can least afford to pay will be hit thehardest!! VPIRG knows full well that a tax on gasoline and home heating fuel in a rural cold weather state is akin to mining gold at everyones’ expense. Will true Vermonters ever wake up and vote these clowns OUT???? Some how, I rather doubt it.

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