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Could A Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax Work In Massachusetts?

An advocacy group in Massachusetts is proposing a revenue-neutral carbon tax that could potentially increase taxes on gas, but at the same time would reduce income and sales taxes. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

An advocacy group in Massachusetts is proposing a revenue-neutral carbon tax that could potentially increase taxes on gas, but at the same time would reduce income and sales taxes. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

There’s been plenty of tax talk swirling around Beacon Hill as of late. But an advocacy group here in Massachusetts suggests they have a way around the predictable tax debate, proposing a revenue-neutral tax plan on carbon.


Gary Rucinski, co-founder and chairman of the Committee for a Green Economy

Robert Rio, senior vice president of governmental affairs for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts


Full Carbon Tax Economic Study: “The purpose was to evaluate whether a carbon tax and the recycling of its revenue can create jobs…”

The Boston Globe: “The Committee for a Green Economy’s thought is to take any new money raised and use it, dollar-for-dollar, to cut other state taxes — making it revenue-neutral, in other words.”

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  • Jessica Langerman

    A revenue-neutral carbon tax is a method supported across the political spectrum by brilliant economists such as Harvard’s own Greg Mankiw (Romney’s former economic advisor) and John Reilly of MIT.  Far from “pandering” to various constituencies (who would that be?), it will protect our children’s future by significantly reducing greenhouse gasses while protecting the unemployed and lower income residents of the Commonwealth through income and sales tax reductions.  While effective, RGGI has not done enough, and the GWSA is two years behind in even being written.  Caps can be raised or lowered at any time according to the political will of the moment.  A tax would send a predictable signal to the market, igniting a green technology revolution.  Thank you, Dr. Rucinski, for your proposal!

  • 65noname

    Typical of these guys.  They want  to “solve” the climate change problem they by increasing taxes on people forced to drive to and from work and shopping, etc. And then, they want to use that increase in tax revenue as an excuse to cut the corporate and income taxes on entities and people worth millions and billions of dollars.  Giving the same tax break to corporate entities and rich people as to those who don’t earn enough income to actually be paying income taxes is NOT a revenue neutral proposal.  The gas tax is thus taking a much more significant amount from those who cannot avoid driving and cannot afford ANY increase in taxes. 

    And that’s not to mention that most moderate and low income people have no alternative to driving.  Public transportation is basically a joke in moderate and low income neighborhoods and taking a bus will 30 to 90 minutes to already stressed working people.

  • SRipley

    This year, the level of CO2 in our atmosphere was reported at 400 parts per million for the first time in about 3 million years. This is bad news for our environment- hotter temps, more extreme weather events, higher ocean levels and it’s bad for our personal health. We can control the levels of CO2 and it sounds like a revenue neutral carbon tax is a simple and effective way to do this. As Gary said, economics is a big motivator. We need to take in the big picture and do all we can and MA can be a leader!

  • Brian Cady

    We can inspire even more from Mass. business by rebating employer’s payroll taxes with carbon tax revenues. Please see: http://www.getamericaworking.org/furtive-tax and http://law.fordham.edu/faculty/29594.htm

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