Report backs climate change tax shift

State Senator Michael Barrett at the carbon tax hearing - Courtesy photo
State Senator Michael Barrett spoke at the carbon tax hearing held recently at the Massachusetts State House – Courtesy photo

Submitted by State Senator Michael Barrett

Businesspeople, lawmakers and environmentalists flocked to the State House this past week to hear a new report highlighting the economic effects of a statewide carbon tax.  The report provides an economic analysis of a bill sponsored by State Rep. Tom Conroy and State Sen. Mike Barrett.

The report drew support from the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Bill McKibben’s 350.org and the Climate Action Liaison Coalition.  Local groups included Sustainable Middlesex, Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition and the Malden Energy Efficiency Commission.

“A carbon tax — or climate change pricing — levies a fee on carbon-based fuels, but only in proportion to the amount of CO2 each fuel emits,” Barrett said.  “We propose to offset all or most of these fees by lowering the personal income tax and corporate income tax.  With such a shift in our tax structure, the environment still comes out a huge net winner.”

According to the study’s analysis, a carbon tax would create thousands of new jobs in Massachusetts and an additional $9.5 billion in state GDP.  The cost of living would go up 1%, while carbon emissions would fall dramatically to 80% of 1990 levels.

“Shifting our tax structure away from income and toward carbon emissions will help expand our economy, generate new jobs, reduce pollution and slow the pace of climate change,” Rep. Conroy stated.  “Economists across the political spectrum support a carbon tax, and Massachusetts has an opportunity with our bill and this study to create a model for the rest of the country.”

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Joe Piantedosi
August 25, 2013 9:54 am

This proposed tax will hurt all of us by driving up transportation costs (fuel) and food and everything else that comes into our state. It will also hurt the poor by adding to the already high price we pay for fuel oil and gasoline. Lastly our unemployment rate continues to climb so why are we raising taxes to make our state less competitive for business? Value added manufacturing industries will leave the state with a new tax like this. Instead of wasting time on a new tax when is the legislature going to address all of the welfare fraud?

Brian Hart
July 24, 2013 12:36 pm

Is there a link or pdf to the report referenced?

Jim Lespasio
July 24, 2013 12:26 pm

“We propose to offset all or most of these fees by lowering the personal income tax and corporate income tax.”
Really ? Massachusetts is going to lower the income tax rates for personal and corporate incomes? I’ll believe that when I see it.
And these two tax proposals should happen simultaneously.

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