I-732 tackles the root causes of climate change while making the state tax system fairer.
Seattle, November 3, 2016—This November, Washington will vote on Initiative 732, a measure that addresses the root causes of climate change while making the state tax system fairer. If passed, I-732 would put in place the nation’s first carbon tax. The world is warming at an alarming rate, and scientists and economists agree that putting an effective price on carbon emissions is the single most important thing we can do to reverse this trend. 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.
Regarding the environmental establishment’s opposition to I-732, The Washington Post Editorial Board said these groups “are not defending the perfect. Their approach would be worse than what is on Washington’s ballot. They are wrong on the politics and wrong on the substance.”
Yoram Bauman, Founder and Co-Chair of Carbon Washington: “This campaign shows that large numbers of people are tired of seeing too little happen to fight climate change and are dedicated to taking action. With I-732 we have a historic opportunity to become the first state in the country to put a price on carbon emissions, accelerate the shift to a clean-energy economy, and make our tax system more equitable for everyone.”
Gail Gatton, Executive Director of Audubon Washington: “How much longer can we wait to finally take meaningful action on climate change? Initiative 732 will help birds and people by reducing carbon pollution and lowering our sales tax. Opportunity doesn’t knock very often, so let’s open the door to a cleaner future.”
Independent sustainability think tank Sightline Institute published an in-depth analysis of I-732 concluding:
I-732 is a Tax Swap
Fighting climate change is only part of what I-732 does. Washington has the most regressive state tax code in the country. I-732 uses revenue from the carbon tax to cut the sales tax by a full point, putting hundreds of dollars each year in the pockets of individuals and families across the state. I-732 also eliminates the business tax on manufacturers to help keep them competitive and producing jobs in the state.
Please try the I-732 Tax Swap Calculator, produced by the University of Washington to see how I-732 would impact individuals and businesses.
I-732 is Revenue Neutral
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.”
I-732 Helps Low Income Working Families Financially
I-732 also funds the Working Families Tax Rebate (WFTR), providing up to $1,500 a year to 460,000 low-income working families. The program was approved by the legislature eight years ago, but has never been funded, despite being a top progressive priority. I-732 funds the WFTR at a 25 percent match of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is two and a half times the match that progressives have been lobbying for. This amounts to an investment of over $1 billion over the first six years to fund the Working Families Rebate.
I-732 Improves Health Outcomes
I-732 directly improves the financial health and physical health of low-income communities and communities of color.
I-732 is neither the beginning nor the end of climate policy. It won’t solve climate change all by itself. And it’s neither the beginning nor the end of progressive policy. It won’t solve poverty or income inequality all by itself. But it is an important and necessary first step.
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.
About Audubon Washington
Established in 1981, Audubon Washington works statewide with its 25 independent chapters and 21,000 members on the conservation of the sagebrush shrub steppe ecosystem in Eastern Washington, protection of coastal estuaries, and actions that address climate change, the number one threat to birds today. Through the Seward Park Audubon Center, we provide science, nature and environmental education programs for youth and families.
Yes on 732
National Audubon Society