Update August 28th 2015: We have collected 160,000 signatures, over half the required amount, to qualify Initiative 732 for the 2016 ballot. We hope to pass the 170,000 mark by the end of August. Click on the News tab to read our weekly email update (sign up here, no spam we promise), click on the Take Action tab to volunteer for the campaign if you are in Washington State, and click on the donate tab to help fund our grassroots campaign. Thank you!
What would Initiative 732 accomplish?
Initiative 732 is a revenue-neutral carbon tax that is designed to move the state toward two important goals — cleaner energy and fairer taxes.
Right now, Washington has the most regressive tax code in the nation. People with the lowest incomes pay the greatest percentage of their income in taxes. I-732 would be a strong step towards making our tax code more progressive.
At the same time, I-732 encourages greater use of clean and renewable energy — which will also give a boost to the state’s economy. Here’s how it works:
I-732 would pay for the tax cuts by charging a $25-per-ton tax on fossil fuels that add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The plan is “revenue neutral,” so the total taxes paid in Washington will stay the same.
Everyone will pay a little more for gasoline, and a little less for just about everything else.
I-732 would reduce the state’s part of the sales tax from 6.5% to 5.5%. It may not sound like much, but the nickels and dimes you’ll save will add up fast.
By cutting the sales tax, I-732 will save the average household about $200 a year. Taxpayers statewide will save a total of ≈$1.3 billion per year!
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit provides a tax rebate to low-income working people. Washington State approved a plan to partly match that federal rebate, but it was never funded.
I-732 would fund the Working Families Tax Rebate and boost the state match to 25%. That means hundreds of thousands of working families and individuals will receive tax relief of up to $1,500 a year.
I-732 will also reduce the manufacturing Business & Occupation Tax in Washington — from .44% of gross receipts to .001%.
This will help manufacturers continue to provide living-wage jobs across the state and stay competitive internationally. Steel mills in Seattle and fruit processors in Eastern Washington all will pay more for energy under I-732 — but they will pay less B&O taxes, and this will help them afford to keep jobs in Washington.
The tax will give both companies and consumers the incentive to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels (including electricity generated by fossil fuels). It’s based on a program that’s been in place in British Columbia since 2008. Carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by 10-15 percent (both in absolute terms and relative to Canada as a whole), the economy is strong, and the carbon tax swap is backed by both major political parties and by a strong majority of the electorate.
An analysis by REMI (Regional Economic Models, Inc.) predicts a carbon tax will benefit Washington’s economy. Their study says the tax changes in I-732 will create thousands of new jobs — and hundreds of millions of dollars in new economic activity. At the same time, carbon dioxide emissions will drop to well below 1990 levels. All without complex new regulations or costly new bureaucracies.
Financially speaking, the average family will stay just about even under I-732. Most low-income Washingtonians will be better off (they’ll keep more of their paychecks). Washington will become a leader in fighting climate change by increasing taxes on pollution. And our tax code will become a bit more fair by reducing taxes on people.
Who We Are:
Carbon Washington wasn’t founded by politicians or wealthy executives, it wasn’t created in high-rises, board rooms, or in Olympia. CarbonWA was created in classrooms and living rooms, by students, activists, academics, and concerned citizens. We realized we couldn’t wait any longer for someone else to address climate change, we realized we were the ones we had been waiting for all along. We believe that ordinary citizens have the power to change things, and we hope that you do too. Take a look at our team so far, and we hope that you will join us to say Yes on I-732!
Check Out – Carbon Taxes are Even Better Than You Think:
I-732 is Endorsed by many Civic and Business Leaders, including:
- Bill Finkbeiner, former Republican Senate Minority Leader
- Sharon Nelson, former UTC Commissioner, former Consumer Reports Board Chair
- Ron Sims, former 12 year King County Executive