Make Your Voice Heard. Take The “Carbon Tax” Survey!

P6220212Should Vermont levy a new $250 million “Carbon Tax” on gasoline and heating fuels?

A coalition of 15 progressive groups led by VPIRG, calling itself Energy Independent Vermont, is lobbying the state to pass a $250 million per year Carbon Tax on Vermonters ($35 million the first year). According to the group’s report this would lead to, among other things, a 45¢ to $1.35 tax on every gallon of gasoline.

Good idea or bad idea? CLICK HERE to make your voice heard.

What You Need To Know About The Carbon Tax

A coalition of 15 left-wing organizations led by VPIRG and the Conservation Law Foundation, calling itself Energy Independent Vermont, is proposing that Vermont institute a “Carbon Tax” of $35 million to $700 million annually (ramped up over 15 years) on things such as gasoline and home heating fuel, diesel fuel, natural gas, propane.According to the group’s proposal, 10% of the proceeds of this tax would be used to subsidize renewable energy businesses. A portion (13%-14%) would be remitted to the bottom 20% of households based on income to “make them whole.” The rest would be allocated to “households, businesses, non-profits, local governments and state government” at the discretion of the legislature.
COST. The Carbon Tax would cost taxpayers a total of $35 million ($50 per ton) in its first year, 2016, and escalate every year to a $700 million ($150 per ton) by 2030.The group’s report calculates such a tax would impose an additional 45¢ to $1.35 tax on gasoline. One assumes a similar effect on home heating fuel, etc.The tax would exempt electricity, such as that generated by coal burning power plants, which is dealt with separately under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), as well as firewood and other biomass.POTENTIAL IMPACT. This tax would hammer the middle class. Households earning more than roughly $25,000 per year (the top four income quintiles) would shoulder the bulk of the burden as businesses would have no choice but to pass the added costs onto consumers wherever possible.

Working Vermonters who commute to a job would be hit hard. Census data (2006-2010) calculated the average commute time for a Vermonter’s is 21.5 minutes each way (though this includes all commuters, not just drivers.)

Such a massive discrepancy in gasoline prices between Vermont and boarder states not subject to this radical level of taxation would provide yet another incentive to cross the boarder to shop. (A savings of $6 to $24 per fill up, assuming an 18 gallon tank.)

CRONYISM. The REMI report cited by Energy Independent Vermont was paid for by “The Blittersdorf Family Foundation, the John Merck Fund, Matthew Rubin, and Barbarina Heyerdahl.” (Page 4, REMI Report, bold added.)

David Blittersdorf is president of All Earth Renewables (he is also a major donor to Peter Shumlin, and the largest individual donor to Shumlin in his first gubernatorial campaign), and Mathew Rubin has significant interests in wind and hydro facilities. These folks could stand to reap millions in state subsides for their projects funded by Carbon Tax revenues. And that is really the point of all this.

According to the REMI study, 10% of the Carbon Tax revenue would go to renewable energy projects. That would mean $3.5 million the first year (at the $50 rate) to as much as $70 million fifteen years out (at the $150 rate). Quite a windfall for wind farms.

David Blittersdorf has a track record of using government policy and his relationship with the governor to steer subsides into his coffers. In 2010 Blittersdorf “got $4.3 million in tax credits from the state’s Clean Energy Development Fund after serving on the fund’s board, a position to which Shumlin appointed him….” (AP, 9/7/10) In 2011, VT Digger reported, in a story titled, “VTGOP: Energy Fund Plan Would Give Blittersdorf Unfair Advantage” that, “Of the total available grant money — $4.4 million — Blittersdorf is eligible to receive $2.2 million.”

Both Blittersdorf and Rubin are former and current trustees of VPIRG respectively.

Take the survey! CLICK HERE to make your voice heard.



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Barb Watters January 7, 2015 at 6:02 pm

GET REAL FOLKS! This is Vermont and mass transit and bicycling are not options for most. I have to drive to work, and yes some 47 miles each way. There is no bus, train or carriage I can ride from my hometown to my employment. I am guessing the majority of Vermonters are in the same predicament. We don’t all live in Burlington. Good luck getting donors in the future. I have friends who once contributed but I can guaranty never again. How many of you ‘tax supporters’ drove to work today or are keeping your home warm? We can’t afford your foolish tax.


jay gem January 12, 2015 at 7:48 pm

We definitely have a problem here in Vermont. We have too many activists from out of state who are out of touch with reality. A carbon tax is regressive and will hurt the most vulnerable of us.


Dennis Greeno January 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm

This is absolutely ridiculous the gas is just starting to get affordable again and of course let’s bring the prices back up again .These people that are running our state need to have a reality check . The income we make doesn’t compare to there’s the more they keep raising taxes in VT the harder it’s getting . VT is getting to be a very expensive state to live in I grew up here and am know 50 years old.I have worked all my life both my wife and I .At this point of our lives this has been the worst I have ever seen it in the early 80’s we made way less than we do know and our spending habits have not changed much.But everything has gotten way to expensive .The bad thing is it doesn’t look like anyone cares for the people that have and continue to try and live not just get by from pay check to pay check . All I have to say is its pretty sad that a hand full of people that have money and are controlling the rest of our money.Its hard enough for people to get by week to week leave things alone and let us get back to a normal life stop taxing .The only thing it looks like the state rep’s are going to do is drive people more and more into poverty .


John Cisar January 13, 2015 at 1:23 am

Vermont is a tiny state. But it seems it’s a large testing ground for young collectivists and socialist retirees who import their wealth, so it’s understandable how they are insulated from the average Vermonter’s hardship caused by pursing their their statist policies. Many people live within 20 miles of the New Hampshire, Mass, and New York border and can drive to fill up their tanks across state lines for lower prices. Quebecois tourism and shopping in Vermont will decline as they have the option to shop Upstate NY and NH for comparable charming experience. Robin Hood gas smugglers will import fuel across state lines to bring relief to those willing to buy on the black market. So will the DMV be stopping and searching tankers to check for bootleggers and throw people in prison to protect society from cheaper fuel prices?


Gerald Foley January 13, 2015 at 5:42 pm



alan wood October 29, 2015 at 3:20 pm

what happened to the list of companies that are supporting this tax Burlington free press?interesting i cant find it anymore.if its such a great thing put your names out i know what businesses to never spend a dime of my hard earned money at!
no new taxes !


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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