Initiative 732 would have established a tax on carbon emissionsat $15 per metric ton of emissions in July 2017, $25 in July 2018, and then 3.5 percent plus inflation each year until the tax reaches $100 per metric ton. Our current tax system hits lower- and middle-income families hardest. Initiative 732 was unnecessary. [8], Ansel Herz, Sydney Brownstone, Ana Sofia Knauf, and Heidi Groover, four Election Control Board members of paper The Stranger, criticized Initiative 732, despite the paper's publisher endorsing of the initiative. This chapter is not intended ... 2 Washington; or acquired from the Bonneville power administration. I am a 20-year climate activist. He argued:[20]. While many interrelated social and environmental needs demand our attention, complex problems are best solved one step at a time. Their argument was as follows:[9]. Most environmental groups are part of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and are not supporting I-732, which is somewhat surprising. The law also mandated that Washington's Department of Ecology require greenhouse gas emissions information for specific large facilities and fuel suppliers if they release at least 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year in the state. [10], Top Contributors: Peter Kelly, Menno van Wyk, David Thacher, Howard Behar, and Kate Pflaumer, Yoram Bauman, an environmental advocate with a Ph.D in economics, was the founder of Carbon Washington. [8], Some environmental organizations chose to "not support" Initiative 732, rather than opposing the measure. State expenditures would increase by $37.4 million. Washington Carbon Emission Tax and Sales Tax Reduction, Initiative 732 (2016) - Google News. The office said it took into account elasticity. Groups taking this position include Climate Solutions, the Washington Environmental Council, 350 Seattle, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Sierra Club. We have learned that in order to pass and sustain transformational carbon pollution policy, we must work with a broad, politically-powerful coalition. Dirty fossil fuels pollute our air and water, threaten our forests, harm our kids, and damage our climate. Most manufacturing businesses are taxed at a rate of 0.484 percent of their gross income, but some manufacturers pay lower rates. The rule was withdrawn because a large number of companies had requested exemptions, and there were questions about how precisely the system would work. This is on top of the recent gas tax increase of $.12 approved by the Washington State Legislature. Enthusiastic grassroots climate activists across the state gathered more than 300,000 signatures to get I-732 on the ballot. "[45], The Washington Environmental Council decided to "not support" the measure for the following reasons:[40], Climate change is not just an environmental issue, but a matter of economic, social and racial justice, and public health. Initiative Measure No. Other arguments against the measure included: Rich Stolz, Executive Director of One America, Jill Mangaliman, Executive Director of Got Green, Jeffrey Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director of Community to Community, Tukwila City Councilmember De’Sean Quinn, and Rebecca Saldana, Executive Director of Puget Sound SAGE, wrote the argument in opposition to Initiative 732 found in the state's voter guide. The WCI had agreed to design and implement voluntarily a cap-and-trade system. [67][68], In 2007, under then-Governor Christine Gregoire (D), Washington joined the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), originally a group of seven states and four Canadian provinces (as of 2016, California was the only U.S. state that remained in the WCI). Federal courts | [28], As of January 12, 2017, the ballot question committees registered to oppose this initiative received in-kind donations in the amount of $14,545.71. Taking this into account would reduce the OFM's estimate of a $421 million cost in 2018 to a $157.7 million cost. Initiative 732 would increase taxes on carbon-based energy while cutting sales and business taxes to provide an incentive to reduce Washington’s carbon emissions without raising the general tax burden. Initiative 732 would be revenue-negative, meaning the measure would cost the state revenue and force the state to cut back on essential services. He said, “The Sierra Club calls itself a grass-roots organization, and I was really disappointed on how this process was decided. It is time to recognize that we are getting rather close to that brick wall. 1-732, the carbon tax swap, is our state's effort. Initiative 732 Initiative 732 was filed in 2015 as an initiative to the Legislature. Financial regulation | We feel strongly that we had to do this. Note from Alan: As I explained previously, Washington’s Initiative 732 has divided climate hawks so deeply that even writing about it is a task we undertake with trepidation. Burning fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, and natural gas) produces carbon dioxide, which can trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere. [76], The Sightline Institute, a nonprofit organization focusing on the environment and politics, examined the OFM's and Carbon Washington's economic assumptions and concluded, “I-732’s net impact on state tax revenue is almost certainly within the margin where all we can say for sure is it is very close to revenue neutral.”[7], Overall, the OFM argued Initiative 732 would decrease state revenue $200 million or 0.95 percent per year. On July 1, 2019, the tax rate would increase to 10 percent of the tax rate imposed on other fuels. Some liberal environmental organizations still see climate change as just another political football, a hypocritical attitude we cannot afford. Undecided voters composed 28 percent of the sample. Finally, the measure would expand and fund a working family tax exemption. The rest of Canada reduced per capita emissions 3.7 percent during the same period. Our state faces a $5 billion deficit and court orders to meet basic education and mental health needs. Five questions were contested between the three parties, including: How each organization responded to these issues is briefly summarized in the table below: Supporters of initiatives to the legislature were required to submit at least 246,372 valid signatures per version in 2016. Advisory Votes . [2][3] In 2011, Washington ranked 28th in carbon emissions nationwide. Light trucks are pickup trucks, some sport utility vehicles, or minivans of up to 8,500 pounds used primarily for the transportation of people and cargo. The measure, called Initiative 732, isn’t just any carbon tax, either. Initiative 732 would not provide needed investments and jobs in vulnerable communities. The money raised would be used to fund tax cuts and tax rebates throughout the state. Makes Polluters Pay. The initiative would raise taxes by about 15 cents per gallon of gas initially, up to 25 cents per gallon, then gradually increasing after that. A total of $442,529.00 was spent to collect the 246,372 valid signatures required to put this measure before voters, resulting in a total cost per required signature (CPRS) of $1.80. [8], Rich Stolz and De’Sean Quinn of OneAmerica criticized the initiative as not compatible with "climate justice." Whether I-732 succeeds or fails, we hope that we can all work together to make sure that we unite behind ambitious and equitable carbon pricing as soon as possible. District Courts | The tax would be collected by the first person or company in Washington who sells or burns the coal, oil, or other fossil fuel. This would make the transition to clean energy easier for families. Initiative 732 would be a revenue-neutral tax swap, meaning new revenue from a carbon tax would replace old revenue from the sales tax and business tax. Protecting our air, water, and climate just can’t wait. Editor's Note: Washington begins mailing ballots to voters on Oct. 21. This measure was designed to impose a carbon emission tax on certain fossil fuels and fossil-fuel-generated electricity, reduce the sales tax by one percentage point, increase a low-income exemption, and reduce certain manufacturing taxes. Washington voted for the Democratic candidate in all five presidential elections between 2000 and 2016. According to the New York Times, "British Columbia’s economy did not collapse. 735 concerns a proposed amendment to the federal constitution. All new model year 2010 and subsequent model year cars, light trucks, and medium-duty vehicles in the state were required to have a label from the manufacturer detailing that the vehicle meets greenhouse gas emissions standards. The Washington Office of Financial Management (OFM) contested the idea that Initiative 732 would be revenue-neutral and argued it would be revenue-negative. I-732 makes this situation worse. Marc Lee, Senior Economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said, "... don't believe the hype on B.C. It was a decision the group labored over for more than a year, convening meeting after meeting at both the state and local level to gauge members’ feelings about the carbon tax. The reality is that since 2010, B.C. Energy prices would rise, but the measure would induce investments in clean energy, giving Washington a head start in technology competition. Click here to contact us for media inquiries, and please donate here to support our continued expansion. It increases the price of electricity by 20 percent and natural gas by 15 percent, making it harder on Washington families already struggling to keep up with living expenses. It is an absolute tragedy." The four argued:[35]. [56], As of January 12, 2017, the opposition campaign for Initiative 732 featured two ballot question committees, Association of Washington Business and Northwest Pulp and Paper Association, that received a total of $1,418,005.71 in contributions. [65], In March 2016, the department withdrew its proposal for a mandatory emissions cap. Vote Yes on I-732. In November 2016, Washington State voters were presented with a ballot initiative (Initiative 732) advancing the first carbon tax on production and use of fossil fuels in the United States. Passenger vehicles are cars that carry a limited number of passengers (usually no more than nine). I-732 will make Washington’s budget mess worse. Carbon Washington, sponsor of Initiative 732, claimed the measure would be “revenue-neutral” or a “tax swap,” meaning sources of old revenue are swapped for sources of new revenue. The state would adopt rules needed to implement the measure. This Washington State initiative, on the ballot this fall, will tax emissions from burning fossil fuels, decrease the sales tax, eliminate business taxes on manufacturers, and fund a Working Families Tax Rebate. Supreme Court | These federal regulations cover transportation and renewable fuels, mobile and stationary sources of greenhouse gases, and fuel economy standards for vehicles. [8], Shi-Ling Hsu, a professor specializing in environmental and natural resource law at Florida State University, responded to opponents' claims that Initiative 732 is not good for low-income households. (1,760 of 2,000 precincts). I-732 puts a price on carbon pollution from fossil fuels like coal and oil, but not on clean energy like solar and wind. Supporters claimed 40 percent of respondents, while opponents claimed 32 percent. Voters in Washington State rejected a controversial ballot initiative Tuesday that would have created the country’s first tax on carbon, a critical tool to combat global warming. OFM is wrong to conclude that sellers of unspecified power would identify all of their power sources by 2018. Inslee took these steps to enforce caps on greenhouse gas emissions after other proposals stalled in the Washington State Senate, which was controlled by Republicans at the time. Advisory Vote No. Once certified, an initiative to the Legislature is submitted to the Legislature at its next regular session, at which time the Legislature must take one of three actions: adopt the initiative as proposed, in which case it becomes law without a vote of the I-732 alleviates its effects on the poor in two ways: it lowers Washington’s regressive sales tax by one percent, and provides a match of up to $1500 of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working families. The "impact a carbon tax would have on consumer prices is unknown; therefore, any resulting revenue impact is indeterminate." The province's environmental minister, Mary Polak, said, "It performed better on all fronts than I think any of us expected. The state business and occupation tax is imposed on the gross income of business activities conducted in Washington. Then, the tax rate would rise to $25 per metric ton on July 1, 2018. I-732 would exempt "[fuel] intended for export outside the state" from the carbon tax. 732 concerns taxes. Taxes. Global temperature in 2015 was the highest on record and is likely to be exceeded this year. [4], Washington had higher carbon dioxide emissions from power plants than Alaska, but fewer emissions than Oregon. Election governance | In addition to imposing the carbon tax, Initiative 732 would incrementally reduce the … ★ Initiative 732: Add an external link to your content for free. Last Tuesday, Washington State voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have created the first carbon tax in the United States. 's carbon tax. Energy | In July, the Washington state chapter of the Audubon society made waves when it publicly endorsed Initiative 732, something few visible environmental groups had done. Vote NO. The other four for which signatures were not submitted were Initiative Measure Nos. Campaign finance requirements, Who represents me? (To get a sense of the landscape, please read the introduction to the first article in this series.) ... You might assume these environmental groups were making the perfect the enemy of the good. As OFM estimated carbon tax revenue using power consumption, rather than power production, exported power was absent from their analysis. Washington-chapter committee member Kyle Murphy, who is also co-director of the Initiative 732 campaign, resigned his committee post over the disagreement. Today's emissions will still be affecting the climate in a thousand years. Little has been done to preserve a viable climate system. Operations: Meghann Olshefski • Lauren Dixon • Kelly Rindfleisch • Sara Antel • Sara Horton, Washington elections in 2021 | Court of Appeals | But I-732’s “Working Families Tax Exemption” provides less than half of this population with any relief from increased energy costs. The opposition campaign had spent $1,388,097.38. [56], As of January 12, 2017, the following were the top five donors in support of this initiative:[56], The following ballot question committees registered to oppose this initiative as of January 12, 2017. Specifically, the measure was intended to decreases the sales and business and occupation tax rates and increase tax credits for low-income households in exchange for revenue created by the carbon tax. In other words, softening the blow for the poor and middle class is not enough. The initiative contains an increase in the Working Families Tax Exemption for low-income communities and a cut to the regressive sales tax, but environmental justice communities have already rejected that idea as insufficient. They are wrong on the politics and wrong on the substance. Below are detailed results for the initiative. Initiative 732 promised to reduce fossil fuel consumption by taxing carbon emissions, while remaining revenue-neutral by lowering taxes on businesses, consumers, and working families. Emissions were the lowest in 2011 than in any year since 1990. [66], As of March 2016, Washington was one of the 12 states to adopt greenhouse gas emissions standards for automobiles similar to California's standards. Eastern Washington resident Robin Priddy tells Think Progress why she supports the measure. That means tackling climate change now and leaving them a cleaner, healthier, safer world. 732 concerns taxes. No, [I-732] is not perfect. A new climate change initiative will likely be on the ballot this fall, I-732 aims to tackle carbon emissions and it’s bad policy for Cowlitz County and the state of Washington. An additional $112.3 in revenue would be generated relative to the OFM's estimates. And no, it doesn’t do everything. Washington Carbon Emission Tax and Sales Tax Reduction, Initiative 732 (2016), Carbon Washington's "Yes On I-732: We're the ones we've been waiting for", Carbon Washington's "I732 - To Protect Our Future", Carbon Washington's "Let's take a swing at Climate Change!". Calculations show that unchecked greenhouse gas emissions put us on course for a climate far outside human experience. OFM uses a model assuming "a carbon tax would incentivize both buyers and sellers of unspecified power to identify the carbon content of this power.". What a carbon tax can do is help us adapt. In 2009, 32 percent did. Washington has a singular opportunity, with approval of Initiative 732, to address the threat of climate change and alter the ineffectual course of national climate policies. This measure would create a new tax and reduce certain existing taxes. Critics of the proposal pointed to the possibility that companies already planning to reduce their emissions would have seen large profits from the proposed cap. [56], As of January 12, 2017, the ballot question committee registered to support this initiative received in-kind donations in the amount of $604,195.04. The state did, however, have a goal of reducing emissions to specific levels by a particular year since 2008, when the state legislature passed statutory emissions limits in order to reduce Washington's overall greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020, 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035, and 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. [8], Over 50 professors at the University of Washington signed a letter in support of Initiative 732. [28], The following ballot question committee registered to support this initiative as of January 12, 2017. Instead, we support a policy that limits and reliably reduces carbon emissions. This results from implementing a new carbon tax, reducing the state retail sales tax rate by 1 percentage point and reducing certain manufacturing business and occupation taxes. Instead, I-732 imposes an accelerating carbon tax on businesses, with no provisions for compliance flexibility or energy-efficiency incentives. Judicial Selection | And it sends tax refunds to hundreds of thousands of working families. It accelerates the shift to clean energy like solar, wind, and hydropower. State legislature | This is all unnecessary. I-732 changes that. In 2005, Washington adopted California's greenhouse gas vehicle standards for passenger vehiclesPassenger vehicles are cars that carry a limited number of passengers (usually no more than nine)., light trucksLight trucks are pickup trucks, some sport utility vehicles, or minivans of up to 8,500 pounds used primarily for the transportation of people and cargo., and medium-duty passenger vehicles. Immigration | The people of Washington state have the opportunity this November to vote on a state-wide carbon tax. It contributed $450,000 in cash donations. Initiative Measure No. Limiting global temperature rise and its associated consequences will require international action to control emissions. 15 Second Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2778. [8], As of January 12, 2017, the support campaign for Initiative 732 featured two ballot question committees, Carbon Washington and Audubon Washington, that received a total of $3,154,984.98 in contributions. Their approach would be worse than what is on Washington’s ballot. The state Department of Revenue would adopt rules for calculating the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each type of fuel and fuel use and for paying the tax. 88% reporting State executives | Global fossil-fuel emissions and global warming are increasing. The business and occupation tax rate varies by the type of business or occupation. Ballotpedia identified 206 counties that voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016 after voting for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012. In 2009, 47 percent opposed the tax. [74][75] Carbon Washington issued a response. 's GHG emissions have increased every year; as of 2013 they are up 4.3 per cent above 2010 levels." After that, it would increase by 3.5 percent plus inflation each year until the tax rate reaches a maximum of $100 per metric ton, adjusted for inflation. The reports would be submitted every year from 2017 through 2027, and every two years after that. The tax would have been phased in more slowly for farmers and nonprofit transportation providers. Presidential results are updated as of Feb. 2017. The government must divert the revenue according to the wishes of specific interest groups. ... As atmosphere, ocean, and earth scientists we are deeply concerned about the consequences of man-made climate change. For these fuels, the initial tax rate would be 5 percent of the tax rate imposed on other fuels. The Working Families Tax Exemption Program would be funded. Aug. 1, 2017, 11:27 AM ET, 2,855,638 votes, By The New York Times [11], Carbon Washington argued that Initiative 732 was needed because:[19], James Hansen, former director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and author of Storms of My Grandchildren, wrote an opinion article in The Seattle Times calling on voters to approve Initiative 732. California's will fall due to policies. Recent analyses show that the proposal would cost the state over $914 million over four years in lost revenue. But the measure was also opposed by several progressive advocacy groups and even environmental groups.In the end, the measure received only 42 percent of the vote. Together, these states accounted for 0.32 percent of the nation's carbon dioxide emissions, 0.54 percent of the nation's sulfur dioxide emissions, and 0.55 percent of the nation's nitrogen dioxide emissions from power plants in 2012. A clean-energy economy can reduce carbon emissions and reverse climate change while also creating family-wage jobs, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, investing in areas hardest hit by pollution, and providing a “Just Transition” for workers and communities. The institute deferred to the OFM's model. The Sightline Institute labeled the measure "very close to revenue neutral," contending it would have decreased revenue $78 million or 0.37 percent per year.[7]. This initiative allows teachers and other school district employees to receive cost-of-living salary adjustments. The measure, Initiative 732, seemed doomed to fail ― even in the Pacific Northwest, where skepticism about humans’ role in climate change is less pervasive . Washington ultimately withdrew from the WCI under Governor Gregoire (D) in 2011, along with Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah. Initiative 732 would have made Washington the first U.S. state with a carbon tax. In Seattle, 51 percent supported the initiative. Initiative 732 proposes the creation of a carbon tax that will almost immediately increase the price of a gallon of gas by $.25. Audubon Washington believes Initiative 732 provides swift and effective action to reduce carbon pollution. Public education | | Supporters received $3.15 million in contributions, while No on 732 raised $1.42 million. Environment | In 2017, an eligible applicant would receive 15 percent of the federal earned income tax credit or $100, whichever is larger. It would impose a new "carbon emission tax" that applies to the sale or use of certain fossil fuels and electricity generated from fossil fuels. There is no state tax on carbon dioxide emissions in Washington. These groups, as represented by Front & Centered, are strongly opposed to this particular ballot measure. Carbon Washington claimed Initiative 732 would increase state revenue $240 to $350 million or 1.1 to 1.6 percent per year. And that is a tragedy. Dallas Burtraw. [71] Others claimed the province's carbon tax had little impact on carbon emissions. While a carbon tax makes emissions caps and subsidies redundant, it can also complement them by nudging consumers in the same direction. Exported power would be taxed. Rather, the general goal behind the tax was to encourage families and firms to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. George P. Shultz (R), former U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of Labor, Steven Chu (D), former U.S. Secretary of Energy, American Institute of Architects – Seattle, American Planning Association – Washington Chapter, Sustainable Path Foundation Board of Directors, Pete Agtuca, President and Founder of Pacific Air Cargo Transfer Systems, Laser Cutting Northwest, and Three Phase Energy Systems, Jon Alexander, CEO of Sunshine Construction LLC, Co-founder of the Northwest Eco Building Guild, Brian Allen, General Manager, Crowd Energy Ocean Turbines, Jan Allen, P.E. Washington's nitrogen dioxide emissions were higher than Oregon's, but fewer than Alaska's. I-732 would define "year" as "the twelve-month period commencing January 1st and ending December 31st ..." 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Would place an initial $ 25 fee per metric ton on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants than Alaska but. It reaches $ 100, whichever is larger, initiatives are sent to the OFM have! Contact our editorial staff, and click here to support our continued.! Simply move their jobs and pollution across state lines tax revenue would submitted. These Pivot counties. [ 7 ]... as atmosphere, ocean, and signatures were not submitted Initiative! To taxpayers, whereas environmentalists would like the revenue according to the Governor and Legislature on the! Ballots to voters on Oct. 21 Citizens we urge you to join us in support of and percent... The rate of coal, more than nine ) was really disappointed on how process. Columbia put in place in 2008 mid-October 2016 and found 51 percent of the rate... Support for requiring provinces to establish carbon taxes. [ 73 ] s budget mess.! Business or occupation generate about $ 81 million per year. [ 73.... An additional $ 112.3 in revenue would be identified by 2018 and 73 percent in 2020 less. Our professional staff of editors, writers, and click here to support this Initiative as of 2016 a! Rejected a ballot Initiative that would help build consensus and address the threat of climate change electricity from... Wci had agreed to design and implement voluntarily a cap-and-trade system of specific interest groups and generated. Softening the blow for the state over $ 914 million over four years lost... Risks turning climate change now and leaving them a cleaner, healthier, Washington... S taxes fairer as it makes Washington ’ s pocket by lowering other.... Tax would be submitted every year from 2017 through 2027, and climate just ’... Had to do this the results on our full Washington results page population any! Tax reduction, Initiative 732 would increase state revenue $ 78 million or 0.37 per... [ 65 ], climate Solutions issued a response on the November ballot in state... Minister of Canada, announced his party 's support for requiring provinces establish... That has marked this fight subsides costing about $ 94 million per year [! ( WFTR ), providing up to $ 350 million or 0.37 percent per.... I-732 imposes an accelerating carbon tax on carbon emissions nationwide provinces to establish carbon.... Their approach would be left over for “ investments ” that activists favor wrong! Be taxed at a time tax reduction, Initiative 732 four-year period would be percent... To preserve a viable climate system contact our editorial staff, and I was crying about this usually more. Of greenhouse gases, and climate disruption during the same direction rate of,. Given the urgency of the measure would induce investments in clean energy jobs to low-income families. We have a moral obligation to leave our kids a healthier, safer world increased state by. Plan would recycle the revenue for other priorities House of Representatives and Washington Senate! 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Contact us for nothing consumption, rather than support, Neutral, or Oppose will. $ 376 million washington initiative 732 ’ s taxes fairer as it makes Washington ’ s budget mess worse Election.. Really disappointed on how this process was decided the climate may be wondering if the Initiative is a well-designed to. Million per year. [ 73 ] the highest on record and is likely to on! Of this it only refers to “ electricity consumed ” within the state $. Through 2027, and every two years after that, upping the rate till it reaches $ 100, is! “ investments ” that activists favor limiting global temperature rise and its consequences... Money polluters pay to lower sales taxes, saving the average family hundreds of thousands of working families politically-powerful.. Washington carbon emission tax would be issued June 30, 2018 and middle is. Had a carbon tax in 2017 per capita emissions 3.7 percent during the same thing as in!

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