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Transcript of Taxes
Similar tax systems in other developed nations around the world Result: Backwards CURRENT TAX SYSTEM DISCOURAGES ENCOURAGES Job growth
Environmental degradation WHAT TO USE? SUSTAINABLE Tax System RAISE TAXES ON
Environmentally harmful activities
Activities bad for public health LOWER TAXES ON
Labor (payroll tax)
Wealth HOW TO IMPLEMENT? "Tax shift" - Approved by 2,500+
economists, inc. Nobel winners 1. TAX activities for health & envi. costs Example: tax hike on fossil fuel power plants, $1 million boost in revenue 2. CUT payroll taxes, taxes on wealth Example: reduce total income tax revenue by $1 million (amount saved by taxing fossil fuel power plants), new income tax at 22% instead of 25% BUT... Tax shifts need to be phased in over the course of 10-20 years to avoid sudden economic drop
Social safety net is needed for lower and middle class families. Otherwise, goods may become unaffordable for them. GREEN TAX Discourage pollution and waste by using taxation to reflect the environmental and health costs of production and consumption Ex. - Increasing fees on natural gas drilling in order to compensate for the hidden costs of groundwater pollution (health) and local habitat destruction (environmental) GREEN TAXES ADVANTAGES
Promote full-cost pricing
Encourage development of cleaner tech
Easy to set up
Fairly easy to catch cheaters DISADVANTAGES
Hard to determine optimal tax levels
"General revenue", if not earmarked
Can penalize the poor (if no social safety net) WHY NO GREEN TAXES? 1. Lack of awareness/education 70% support instituting a green tax after being informed about how the system would work 2. Political lobbying Powerful industrial groups (auto, oil, coal, etc.) try to convince politicians that green tax would hurt competition & economy 3. General anti-tax population Voters tend to oppose new taxes of any kind, even though tax shift plan would also mean income tax reduction; mainly an issue because of #1 EUROPEAN EXAMPLES Germany Reduced pollution & carbon dioxide emissions
Wage tax cuts, 250,000 new jobs created, renewable energy production expanded Sweden Tax shift of over $2 billion from income taxes to green taxes Denmark Implemented green taxes on automobiles, price of new car is now less than the tax placed on car sales OTHER EXAMPLES Australia Carbon tax created in July 2012, led to 9% reduction in CO2 emissions within 6 months India Implemented a coal tax in 2010, used the $555 million in new revenue to build electrical infrastructure in poverty-stricken rural areas