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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. 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. Initiative 732 would not provide needed investments and jobs in vulnerable communities. It uses the money polluters pay to lower sales taxes, saving the average family hundreds of dollars a year. In 2011, Washington ranked 28th in carbon emissions nationwide. To me, it’s everything. Initiative 732 would place an initial $25 fee per metric ton on carbon dioxide emissions. Washington is already starting to reduce carbon emissions. [65], In March 2016, the department withdrew its proposal for a mandatory emissions cap. [56] The top donor in opposition to this initiative, Kaiser Aluminum, provided approximately 32 percent of the campaign's total funds. If it passes, Washington will be the first state in the country to enact a tax on carbon emissions. This measure would create a new tax and reduce certain existing taxes. Initiative 732 was unnecessary. Revenue from this source would be about $81 million per year. By throwing money at imaginary sensible Republicans and Boeing, I-732 adapts us for nothing. This revenue-neutral measure offers the most progressive change in our tax code in decades and represents a bipartisan effort that rejects ideology. [63][64], In July 2015, Governor Jay Inslee (D) directed the state's Department of Ecology to consider a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions in the state in order to achieve the legislature's goals passed in 2008. Environmentalists were divided on Initiative 732. ... You might assume these environmental groups were making the perfect the enemy of the good. Elements of the coalition that environmentalists have assembled want “green jobs” programs, initiatives aimed specifically at communities of color, infrastructure that labor unions favor, and so forth. The rule was withdrawn because a large number of companies had requested exemptions, and there were questions about how precisely the system would work. The chart below shows cash donations and expenditures current as of January 12, 2017. But the main reason is that I-732 sends its revenue back to taxpayers, whereas environmentalists would like the revenue for other priorities. The money raised would be used to fund tax cuts and tax rebates throughout the state. [71] Others claimed the province's carbon tax had little impact on carbon emissions. There is no state tax on carbon dioxide emissions in Washington. [6] To meet this goal of remaining "revenue neutral," Initiative 732 would have lowered the state sales tax from 6.5 to 5.5 percent, increased the Working Families Tax Credit for low-income families, and reduced the business and occupation tax rate from 0.484 to 0.001 percent. I-732 fails this test. I am a 20-year climate activist. Calculations show that unchecked greenhouse gas emissions put us on course for a climate far outside human experience. The state's northern neighbor, British Columbia, implemented a carbon tax in 2008, and this served as a base model for Initiative 732. Jock A. Finlayson, head of policy at the Business Council of British Columbia, stated, "We were not very happy when it was first announced... [Now,] within the business community there is a sizable constituency saying this is O.K." Election governance | It accelerates clean energy, creating good, local jobs, while driving down the burning of fossil fuels and the pollution, asthma, and smog they cause. | A Department of Revenue analysis found I-732 will cut funding available for education, health care, and other vital services by $797 million over the next six years. The top donor to the "Yes" campaign was entrepreneur Peter Kelly. As unspecified power would be taxed at the rate of coal, more remaining unspecified power means more tax revenue. 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. [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. The tax would be collected by the first person or company in Washington who sells or burns the coal, oil, or other fossil fuel. Dirty fossil fuels pollute our air and water, threaten our forests, harm our kids, and damage our climate. He argued:[20]. Dallas Burtraw. 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. Marc Lee, Senior Economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said, "... don't believe the hype on B.C. It uses revenues from a carbon pollution fee to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and invests in infrastructure for clean, abundant water and healthy forests that can stand up to the adverse impacts of climate change, while simultaneously assisting the most vulnerable workers and communities during our transition away from fossil fuels. Congressional delegation | It contributed $450,000 in cash donations. And no, it doesn’t do everything. There are clearly things to like about Initiative 732, the carbon tax on the ballot in Washington. That would eventually give Washington one of the highest prices on carbon in … Largest cities | The measure, called Initiative 732, isn’t just any carbon tax, either. [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. The opposition campaign had spent $1,388,097.38. Washington families and kids deserve a safe environment with clean air and water and healthy forests. The measure also requires reports to the Governor and Legislature on how the measure is affecting state revenues. It would reduce the sales tax rate by one percentage point over two years, increase a low-income sales tax exemption, and reduce certain manufacturing taxes. Should this measure be enacted into law? [39][40][41][42][43], Erika Shriner, who terminated her Sierra Club membership in response, argued the group was putting "politics ahead of addressing climate change. 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. Advisory Votes . Revenue from this source would be $40.5 million per year. Our reason, above all, is that we want to support our allies in people-of-color-led climate justice groups that represent those on the frontlines of climate change. The activists want micromanagement. Taking this into account would reduce the OFM's estimate of a $421 million cost in 2018 to a $157.7 million cost. This is equivalent to about a 25 cent increase per gallon of gasoline. The duo said:[32], I-732 is not revenue neutral and dangerously pits climate activism against funding for education and basic human services. Exported power would be taxed. She added:[44], Court Olson, a Sierra Club member, wanted the group to survey its members. 1-732 is a simple step in the right direction. 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. Initiative 732 would incentive clean-energy technology competition and accelerate the transition to renewable energy by putting a tax on fossil fuels. [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. The support campaign had spent $3,183,387.43, more than the amount raised due to using loans. While many interrelated social and environmental needs demand our attention, complex problems are best solved one step at a time. These results are automatically generated from Google. [8], Climate Solutions issued a statement on April 21, 2016, explaining their position. To the extent that the people who modeled it predicted this, I’m not sure that those of us on the policy end of it really believed it." It is time to recognize that we are getting rather close to that brick wall. 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. Certain industries that obtain electricity generated outside Washington also may be required to pay the tax. The rate would increase in 5 percent increments every two years after that until July 1, 2055, when it would be the same as the carbon emission tax rate imposed on other fuels. United States leadership is indispensable, and national action is spurred by successful regional efforts. Source: Election results from The Associated Press. 732 concerns taxes. Between 1990 and 2011, Washington's emissions fluctuated, beginning at 71 million metric tons of CO2 emitted in 1990 before peaking in 1999 and 2000 at 81 million metric tons of CO2. The state business and occupation tax is imposed on the gross income of business activities conducted in Washington. [74][75] Carbon Washington issued a response. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, this was not a decision reached lightly. The Washington Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Teachers Initiative, also known as Initiative Measure 732, was on the November 7, 2000 election ballot as an Initiative to the People in Washington, where it was approved. It was defeated. 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. To read Ballotpedia's methodology for covering ballot measure campaign finance information, click here. Initiative Measure No. It would not apply to electricity produced using hydroelectric dams, nuclear power, wind, or solar power. Protects Working Families. Below are detailed results for the initiative. ... As atmosphere, ocean, and earth scientists we are deeply concerned about the consequences of man-made climate change. Superior Courts | In addition to imposing the carbon tax, Initiative 732 would incrementally reduce the … In 2016, a group of climate activists put an initiative for a revenue-neutral carbon tax on the November ballot in Washington State. At a time when we are struggling to maintain good jobs and fund basic services, I-732 would send Washington in the wrong direction. These communities will need investments and jobs to make an equitable transition to a forward-thinking clean-energy economy. Their argument was as follows:[9]. | Under this system, emissions would be capped at a certain level, and states would be able to "trade" the unused portion of their emissions allowance to other states. Global fossil-fuel emissions and global warming are increasing. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announced his party's support for requiring provinces to establish carbon taxes.[73]. For these fuels, the initial tax rate would be 5 percent of the tax rate imposed on other fuels. Limiting global temperature rise and its associated consequences will require international action to control emissions. View other Washington election results on our full Washington results page. It makes Washington’s taxes fairer as it makes our state cleaner. Environment | It can raise much-needed resources for clean energy research and development and transit; it can help us invest in communities that will be the hardest hit by climate impacts. 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. The "impact a carbon tax would have on consumer prices is unknown; therefore, any resulting revenue impact is indeterminate." But I-732’s “Working Families Tax Exemption” provides less than half of this population with any relief from increased energy costs. Initiative 732 would lower the state’s regressive sales tax and increase tax credits to low-income working families. Initiative 732 would phase in the new tax at $25 a ton to start, reaching that price at the end of its first two years in 2018. The tax would have been phased in more slowly for farmers and nonprofit transportation providers… Our current tax system hits lower- and middle-income families hardest. The carbon emission tax would apply to electricity producers, but only on the proportion of electricity produced using fossil fuels. Protecting our air, water, and climate just can’t wait. But they are not defending the perfect. Washington's output will grow due to population growth. 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. Each Washington department was required to submit a greenhouse gas reduction plan for approval by the state legislature before December 2008. We feel strongly that we had to do this. Last Tuesday, Washington State voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have created the first carbon tax in the United States. Recent analyses show that the proposal would cost the state over $914 million over four years in lost revenue. If I-732 were to pass, it would put at risk the State’s ability to fund basic human services, to meet a court-ordered mandate to fund basic education, and to fulfill other functions of government. 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. An additional $112.3 in revenue would be generated relative to the OFM's estimates. According to the New York Times, "British Columbia’s economy did not collapse. 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.". We have a moral responsibility to our children and future generations to protect them from global warming and climate disruption. These federal regulations cover transportation and renewable fuels, mobile and stationary sources of greenhouse gases, and fuel economy standards for vehicles. [8], Greg Ip, Chief Economics Commentator for The Wall Street Journal, claimed that Initiative 732 had a greater chance of achieving broad-based support relative to some other global warming regulations and that opponents were not acknowledging this. 724, 729, 730 and 731. In fact, the provincial economy grew faster than its neighbors’ even as its greenhouse gas emissions declined." [28], The following ballot question committee registered to support this initiative as of January 12, 2017. Financial regulation | They are wrong on the politics and wrong on the substance. The reality is that since 2010, B.C. 2,855,638 votes, 88% reporting (1,760 of 2,000 precincts) Voters rejected Initiative 732 — Create Carbon Emission Tax — in Washington on Tuesday. Energy | On July 1, 2018, it would be reduced again, to 5.5 percent. It’s an effective, bipartisan policy similar to one that’s been working successfully in British Columbia since 2008. Supporters received $3.15 million in contributions, while No on 732 raised $1.42 million. Immigration | Initiative 732 is a Simple Tax Swap I-732 will add a $25 per ton tax to polluting fossil fuels. By The New York Times That exemption would allow low-income taxpayers (those who qualify for the federal earned income tax credit) to receive a refund for some of the state sales taxes they paid during the year. The measure called for taxing the sale or use of certain fossil fuels and electricity generated from fossil fuels. Some businesses will simply move their jobs and pollution across state lines. A tax credit is not the same thing as investment in education, social services, or clean energy jobs. if(document.getElementsByClassName("reference").length==0) if(document.getElementById('Footnotes')!==null) document.getElementById('Footnotes').parentNode.style.display = 'none'; Communications: Kristen Vonasek • Kayla Harris • Megan Brown • Mary Dunne • Sarah Groat • Heidi Jung Cost of signature collection: [69], Initiative 732 was modeled after British Columbia's carbon tax. The initiative’s approach is based on a carbon tax that British Columbia put in place in 2008. It also would reduce the state sales tax rate, reduce the business and occupation tax rate on manufacturing, and fund a partial sales tax exemption for low-income families. If certified, initiatives are sent to the Washington House of Representatives and Washington State Senate for consideration. As of 2016, no states had a carbon emission tax. Washington would have been the first state to place a tax on carbon emissions. Advisory Vote No. Meanwhile, Washington's sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants were much higher than Alaska's and somewhat higher than Oregon's. 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. Court of Appeals | OFM is wrong to conclude that sellers of unspecified power would identify all of their power sources by 2018. Operations: Meghann Olshefski • Lauren Dixon • Kelly Rindfleisch • Sara Antel • Sara Horton, Washington elections in 2021 | Local measures | The WCI had agreed to design and implement voluntarily a cap-and-trade system. 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