Nation’s First Carbon Tax, Initiative 732, Goes before Voters in Washington State

I-732 will move the state toward two goals – cleaner energy and fairer taxes – and was developed to de-politicize the climate debate and start a national movement

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On November 8, Washington will vote on the nation's first revenue-neutral carbon tax. Initiative 732 (https://yeson732.org/) accelerates the shift to clean energy by putting a price on dirty fossil fuels. The policy has bipartisan support and is endorsed by over 50 University of Washington climate scientists, Audubon Washington, Citizens' Climate Lobby, and numerous other groups and individuals who believe we must take action now on climate change. The New York Times said, "the idea of putting a price on carbon is…one of the most straightforward, economy-friendly ways to deal with climate change."

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SEATTLE--()--On November 8, Washington will vote on the nation’s first revenue-neutral carbon tax. Initiative 732 (https://yeson732.org/) accelerates the shift to clean energy by putting a price on dirty fossil fuels that pollute our air and water, threaten our forests, harm our kids, and damage our climate. The policy has bipartisan support and is endorsed by over 50 University of Washington climate scientists, Audubon Washington, Citizens' Climate Lobby, and numerous other groups and individuals who believe we must take big action now on climate change. Today, The New York Times said I-732, "could well set an example for other states."

Initiative 732 is a Simple Tax Swap

  • I-732 will add a $25 per ton tax to polluting fossil fuels. This is equivalent to about a 25 cent increase per gallon of gasoline. Household electricity prices would go up about five percent.
  • I-732 returns the money polluters pay to everyone’s pocket by lowering other taxes:
    • Lowers the sales tax by one percentage point, saving the average family hundreds of dollars per year.
    • Funds an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), providing up to $1,500 a year for approximately 460,000 low-income working families.
    • Eliminates the business tax on manufacturers, keeping good jobs in Washington.

The Facts

  • I-732 will reduce carbon emissions in the state. British Columbia implemented a similar carbon tax in 2008 and has kept emissions in check while growing its economy at a faster pace than the rest of Canada.
  • I-732 will not harm the state budget. According to the Sightline Institute, “As an argument against I-732 the 'revenue hole' case is a red herring.”
  • Climate inaction will cost the state an estimated $10 billion annually after 2020.
  • I-732 will be the biggest improvement in the progressivity of Washington’s state tax system in 40 years.
  • Everyone will benefit from the reduction in the regressive sales tax, but low-income families will get a financial lift from the EITC along with health benefits from a reduction in fossil fuel pollution that contribute to heart and respiratory illness.
  • I-732 will boost jobs and clean energy. A study by Regional Economic Models, Inc. found that five years after adopting I-732, Washington would see an increase of more than 10,000 jobs and grow its GDP by an additional $500 million.
  • CNN said I-732 is a “cheap, proven fix to the world's biggest problem,” and The Wall Street Journal called I-732 a “growth-friendly climate change proposal.”

“We have a moral responsibility to protect our children and future generations by tackling climate change now, and leaving them a cleaner, healthier, safer world,” said Kyle Murphy, co-director of the Yes on 732 campaign. “Washington voters have a historic opportunity to take action on climate change. Please help us pass I-732 by donating, signing up to volunteer, and voting Yes.”

About Carbon Washington

Carbon Washington is a non-partisan grassroots group of scientists, economists, former elected officials, business owners, and concerned citizens focused on seeking a solution to climate change that works for businesses and households around the state. The group developed Initiative 732 as a revenue-neutral approach to taxing carbon pollution while encouraging economic growth for families and businesses. To learn more about I-732, view endorsements, and get involved, visit YesOn732.org.

Contacts

Carbon Washington
Samara Villasenor, 206-478-5643
communications@carbonwa.org

Release Summary

Washington residents will vote on the nation’s first revenue-neutral carbon tax. Initiative 732 (https://yeson732.org/) accelerates the shift to clean energy by putting a price on dirty fossil fuels.

Contacts

Carbon Washington
Samara Villasenor, 206-478-5643
communications@carbonwa.org