3-12-15 – Who Wants a Carbon Tax? These Legislators!

Posted by Rob Roper

Two bills pushing for Vermont to adopt a carbon tax were introduced in the House this week and sent to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

H. 395. An act relating to establishing a carbon pollution tax. This would tax carbon at $50 per tonne in its first year, then raise that by $10 per tonne each year until the tax reached $100 per tonne. 80 percent of the revenue from the tax would be dispersed through various income redistribution streams. The remaining 20 percent would be used to subsidize weatherization and other thermal energy efficiency projects and something called a Vermont Sustainable Transportation Fund.

This bill would tax butane, coal, diesel fuel, gasoline, fuel oil, jet fuel, kerosene, natural gas, and propane.

Who’s pushing this one? Sponsors are Reps. Chris Pearson (P-Burlington), Molly Burke (P- Brattleboro), Curtis McCormack (D- Burlington) and Jim McCullough (D- Williston).

Then there’s….

H. 412 An act relating to establishing a carbon pollution tax. This tax would start smaller at $10 per tonne in its first year, increase by $10 per tonne per year until reaching $100 per tonne, and would also apply to butane, coal, diesel fuel, gasoline, fuel oil, jet fuel, kerosene, natural gas, and propane.

90 percent of this tax (net, after the cost of the bureacracy necessary to run the program is taken out) would be used for reducing other taxes (most significantly, 65 percent for the Sales & Use tax), and income redistribution programs. People earning less than 200 percent of poverty levels would receive a Carbon Tax Rebate through existing food stamp or home heating programs.

The remaining 10 percent of the tax would subsidize weatherization projects and something called the Vermont Energy Independence Fund, which would “promote the  development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable  electric power and thermal energy or geothermal clean energy resources. It would be run by a Vermont Energy Independence Board, which appears to be made up of VPIRG and their coalition of partners who funded a study arguing for this Carbon Tax in the first place. Can anyone say Crony Slush Fund?

Who’s pushing this one?

Sponsors are Reps. David Deen (D-Westminster), Mary Sullivan (D-Burlington), John Bartholomew (D-Hartland), Steve Berry (D- Manchester). Molly Burke (P-Brattleboro), Joey Donovan (D- Burlington), Patsy French (D-Randolph), Diana Gonzalez (P- Winooski), Maxine Grad (D-Moretown), Mary Hooper (D-Montpelier, Willem Jewett (D-Ripton), Warren Kitzmiller (D-Montpelier), Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington), Martin Lalonde (D-South Burlington), Joan Lenes (D-Shelburne), Jim Masland (D-Thetford), Curtis McCormack (D-Burlington), Jim McCullough (D-Williston), Mike Mrowicki (D-Putney), Jean O’Sullivan (D-Burlington), Barbara Rachelson (D-Burlington), Kesha Ram (D- Burlington), Amy Sheldon (D-Middlebury), Tom Stevens (D-Waterbury), Valerie Stuart (D-Brattleboro), Donna Sweaney (D- Windsor) and Maida Townsend (D-South Burlington).

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Blume March 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm

I think a carbon pollution tax is a great idea. It’s hardly a crony slush fund. It’s a take responsibility for moving to a clean energy future fund. I fully support it. And so does the Wall Street Journal: https://goo.gl/sLJxkw

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Rob March 12, 2015 at 5:44 pm

To be clear, Kathy, the Journal does not support the carbon tax, the authors of the op-ed you cite do. But your points are well taken.

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Diane March 12, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Are you freaking kidding me????? Don’t we pay enough gas tax now??? Who are these rich legislators that think the common people of Vermont can afford this??? How did they ever get elected?? Unbelievable!

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Betty Hutchins March 12, 2015 at 6:14 pm

Living on SS we can not afford another TAX , It is getting so hard to live in Vermont that we are thinking about moving to a place where it is more senior friendly .
Please No more TAXES .
between the school taxes & the high cost of fuel we can not afford more.
Betty

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Mike Mackin March 12, 2015 at 7:28 pm

What kind of crap is this most of Vermonters work for 12.00 dollars an hr or less nobody in those jobs can pay. I thought a poll was taken a couple of months ago with 2000 against and 30 plus for

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Ron Rogers March 12, 2015 at 7:32 pm

If this passes into law, my house goes up for sale immediately. I’ve had enough of lawmakers finding new ways to get deeper into my pockets! This state is already not retirement living friendly, this will make it worse!

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Reality Strikes March 12, 2015 at 7:45 pm

Seeing that the amount of Carbon we in Vermont produce relative to China is statistically insignificant, lets Tax them and call it a day so we can still “Feel Good” about trying to make a differnence…

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Reality Strike-Out March 12, 2015 at 8:12 pm

You’re talking per capita, right? Or are you seriously drawing a comparison between China’s billion-plus citizens and the fewer than one million living in Vermont?

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Alex Knight March 12, 2015 at 7:47 pm

The politicians will never be satisfied until they have driven the peasantry into the ground under an economic whip, backed by the guns of the police. Then they can stare down and gloat from their ivory towers. WHY do we tolerate this?

http://www.voluntaryist.com

http://www.tolfa.us

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Donald March 12, 2015 at 7:49 pm

The whole thing about carbon is based on largely unproven theory. Yes, I said UNPROVEN. I’m not against cleaner air or alternative energy at all and I support subsidizing alternative energy but this is just backward thinking. Frankly to levy a tax to manipulate behavior is just unconstitutional. If we want to create incentives fine. But punative taxes are based on the assumption that we citizens actually have a choice. MOST DO NOT! We are living within our means the best way we know how and we didn’t send these politicians to Montpelier to create utopia for us.

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Louie Mamno March 12, 2015 at 9:49 pm

come on get real — Remeber the our economy is an ecosystem too – A carbon tax would throw a out of balance and many jobs will go extinct—unless that’s the goal here…?

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thomas moore March 12, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Is this per person. So if 2adults and to kids do you have to pay for 4. You should having kids poluts more
then a singal person

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Randy pond March 12, 2015 at 11:06 pm

Article in local newspaper several months ago said if the carbon tax is passed that gasoline will cost 4.50 per gal.

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doug Richmond December 10, 2016 at 8:46 pm

yEAH, $450 BASED ON TODAYS $2,30 GAS. wHEN GAS GOES BACK UP TO OVER $4. IT WOULD BE WELL OVER $6 PER GALLON. wORKING PEOPLE CAN’T AFFORD TO LIVE WHERE THE JOBS ARE, SO THEY BUY LESS EXPENSIVE OUT OF TOWN. wHAT THEY SAVE ON HOUSING WILL BE GONE, INTO THE TANK. tHE TANK – OH YEAH, THAT GOES FOR THE FUEL OIL TANK FOR HEATING AS WELL. $6 PERGALLON FOR 200 GALLONS OF FUEL OIL IS #1200 EVERY FILL-UP., SEVERAL TIMES A WINTER!

mAYBE THEY CAN SLEEP ON THE FLOOR. AT WORK.

nOTE THAT THE PRIVELEDGED eLECTRIC MONOPOLIES ARE KEPT UNHARMED !

aRE vERMONT’S GLUTTONS FOR PUNISHMENT ??

OR DO WE HAVE A SPINE TO STAND UP, AND JUST A SAY A VERY LOUD NO!! TO ANY MORE TAXES.

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pat Liebrecht March 13, 2015 at 1:30 am

Please take down these names of these people who want to implement this nonsense tax and donate and support their opponents in the next election. It is always masked as good intentions when in fact it’s really another way to steal money to support the bloated overbearing government pig. And support even more government hack jobs being created.

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Peter Libby March 13, 2015 at 10:42 am

i am adamantly opposed to a Carbon Tax at this time. It will not help reduce our carbon footprint in any measurable way, so let’s get that misconception out of the way. There will be additional beauracracy needed to implement this, that will be a new expense. Sixty-five percent of the collected tax is to go to the Sales and Use Tax with no correlating reduction in that tax from other areas. Some might argue that it will help, stabilize LIHEAP funding, which has been a political football for as long as I can remember. Of course we will still be paying the Feds taxes that they so genorously return a portion for LIHEAP. When they feel like it, or not.That won’t be reduced. Currently there is no sales tax on residential use of fuel oil, propane, natural gas and kerosene, that will change. Let’s be fair and call this for what it really is, another insidious way to implement wealth redistribution in Vermont. The Legislature would better serve us, their constituents, by finding ways that will allow us to go to work for a reasonable wage. My message to them is, ” Stop pilfering our pockets, we are tired of it!”

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Linda Kirker March 13, 2015 at 8:33 pm

Notice that not one sponsor of this legislation is a republican. They are all liberal democrats and progressives who make it their business to siphon off every possible dollar from your income, whether you can afford it or not. Instead of dealing with the real problems in our state like overspending and excessive , costly government programs, these folks are forever creating more government bureaucracy and spending of our money. Let’s face the music and deal with reality. If the intent is to drive more Vermonters to other states, they are doing a good job of it. Then who will pay the tab??

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ron deming March 13, 2015 at 11:57 pm

We don’t need a carbon tax or carbon credits. Yes CO2 is increasing but those that
support climate change or global warming tie this to increased temperature. However the true data states that the temperature is flat. It has not increased at all in the last 15 years!!!! The plants and eco system would like more C02 for growth. The goal of this tax is to punish Vermonters with something that has not been proven; it has just been stated. Climate Change or Global warming is not so called “settled science”. The climate changes all the time. Even our on Federal EPA has stated that C02 is a hazardous gas yet every human emits this when they exhale. Do we really think that by being penalized by our carbon emissions it will make a difference here or in New York or New Hampshire?

What we really need to focus on with regard to the state budget is living within our means. If our state yearly growth is 3% then our spending should be trimmed such
that it’s in line with that goal. Thats how we got into this mess.

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Allen Godin March 14, 2015 at 1:44 am

Carbon taxes are about control. People Control….PERIOD! There will never be a viable “clean energy” solution that we can live with. Ethanol has FAILED and we are still locked into illegal regulations that will increase the price of gasoline and cars because of crony capatalism.

When will you people get it! It’s about Liberty, and ours is being stolen by a bunch of little tyrants. You allow this! When we sit on our hands and whine no one wins except those not reliant on Vermont’s economy.

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Jim Bulmer March 14, 2015 at 1:41 pm

If all these indignant folks would get out the vote and throw the bums out of Montpelier, we wouldn’t have to deal with this stupidity. A carbon tax is just one more wealth redistribution scheme under the guise of protecting the environment. We have a seventy mile view and the only thing which obstructs it is FOG, not smog. If and that’s a BIG if, there is any carbon contamination in Vermont, it’s minimal. It’s high time we stopped the tree huggers.

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Ivan March 16, 2015 at 12:58 pm

It is time to flood the house chamber wearing ” taxed enough already T shirts”
The ideaology behind this is insane and is nothing more than a huge money grab to
benefit a very few at the expense to those of use who pay most of the taxes.
VPRIRG and Montpelier truly live in a parallel universe and would serve us well if they
simply went home now

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Pat March 16, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Why don’t our legislators do their job and stop dreaming up ridiculous taxes to constantly support those living off the government. If we continue on this track no one will be able to afford to retire here. The young people are already leaving because we are so unfriendly to industry and there are so few good jobs. Who will pay your crazy taxes then?

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Kenneth McDaniel March 16, 2015 at 4:10 pm

I hear a lot of people on the streets complaining about the high cost of living here in Vermont, but somehow they keep voting for the same “Apple Hearts” that want to raise taxes all the time and keep voting for the school budgets every year. I don’t understand what is the love affair Vermonters have with taxes.

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Don March 16, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Thank the Lord I have only 7 more months in this bankrupt state before I leave for the south..
The libs are going to tax the folks that remain to fund their hairbrained social agend and supporting the proven climate change hoax.

Good luck to all that remain in this state,you will need all the luck you can get.

.

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Brian Smith March 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm

It is all of the names listed that are totally responsible for the financial mess that Vermont is in. They should be ridden out of town on a rail!! Now they are trying to make everyone pay for their disgusting, pathetic and unjustified decision making. Come on voters….Wake up next time around and maybe….just maybe we can save our state !

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Paul Beane March 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Pretty soon they’ll just say “How much money do you have”? “Send it in”
Where does it end???

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Jon March 18, 2015 at 1:22 am

So I see that both bills would create a new carbon tax. Money outta pockets. But then the first bill sends 80% back directly as cash to Vermonters and the second uses 90% to shrink other taxes. Money back into pockets. Both use much of the rest to subsidize weatherization for low-income households, which then save way more from reduced heating bills than the new tax will ever get from them. It’s a little hard to see how this = Armageddon.

Rob Roper, what is the end result going to look like in terms of money in the pocket of Joe and Joanne Maple Syrup?

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