Roper: Big carbon tax back on the table

By Rob Roper

This past Friday (Oct. 11) at the Renewable Energy Conference, Burlington’s Democratic Mayor Miro Weinberger, flanked by VPIRG, announced support for a massive, statewide carbon tax on Vermonters, which would ultimately lead to a roughly $1.70 per gallon tax on home heating and vehicle fuels. The proposal is similar to one proposed by VPIRG in 2014, only larger in scope and cost. Vermonters soundly rejected the first proposal, but it keeps coming back like the proverbial bad penny.

Rob Roper

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

The new plan would start with a $30 per ton tax on CO2 emissions, and rise at a rate of inflation plus 10 percent each year until 2034, after which point it would rise at inflation plus 5 percent indefinitely. The 2014 proposal started with a more modest $10 per ton tax, increasing annually until it reached $100 per ton in 2027 where, barring a change in plans, it would have stopped.

As with the first plan, this “new” proposal is being billed as “revenue neutral,” although nether really is/was. Proponents admit that money will have to be skimmed off the top to make up for lost revenue to the Transportation Fund due to lower tax revenue and, presumably, any administrative costs for collecting and administering the tax and accompanying rebate program.

How this rebate program, supposedly returning the money to the taxpayers, will work isn’t entirely clear, but based on the presentation materials ordinary Vermonters will be left out in the cold (literally). It mentions just two potential models: (1) A rebate to businesses in proportion to share of jobs in Vermont, and (2)  A rebate to businesses in proportion to share of GDP in Vermont. So ordinary Vermonters will pay the tax and the revenue will be redistributed to businesses, not people. This does not sound like a “revenue neutral” policy, which means taxes raised will be offset by tax cuts elsewhere, but rather is a calculated program of wealth redistribution from citizens to, presumably, politically correct (or well connected) businesses.

Earlier carbon tax proposals offered at least some pretense of mitigating the negative impacts to rural and low income Vermonters, who will bear a disproportionately high amount of the pain inflicted by a carbon tax, but not this one.

So, why in an election year would carbon tax advocates bring back what promises to be a more painful, even less popular proposal? Here are a couple of possible reasons. One, they think that with veto-proof supermajorities in the legislature guaranteed for just one more year this is their best chance to force the tax down Vermonters’ throats. Or, this could be a calculated distraction designed to draw attention away from efforts to pass the “stealth carbon tax” — that is, the Transportation & Climate Initiative or TCI and/or carbon related “reforms” to Act 250.

Either way, it’s time for Vermonters to be vigilant and vocal.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain

17 thoughts on “Roper: Big carbon tax back on the table

  1. How is it that punishing Vermonters with higher heating bills equates to a solution to solve climate change?

    This would be a real crisis created by legislators punishing the very people they are supposed to represent, truly man made and self inflicted when you consider we keep voting these people into office!

    Perhaps this is why Vermont is not affordable?

  2. Another beaurocy?? Revenue neutral?? Not quite clear on how the money will be returned to the tax payers?? Typical “feel good” scheme. Damn the torpedos full sped ahead. Unintended consequences? Not too worry, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Problem with that kind of irresponsible thinking is by the time, there’ll be NO bridge. The real funny is if Vermont were to go 100% carbon free tomorrow, it would make diddly impact on world wide carbon emissions. So what else is new? The beat goes on.

    • Read all about British Columbia, Canada. Their carbon tax started in 2008 and it’s not revenue neutral for the taxpayers and not reducing emissions. It’s turning out to be political suicide in Canada and it would be in the USA as well.

  3. It’s time abandon ship. Cast off the yoke of socialist oppression. Too many wealthy Liberal/Socialists have moved to Vermont. They are so blinded by their beliefs that they don’t care about how much it costs to live in their socialist ecotopia.

  4. Well for some FEEL GOOD on the warming front, Pipi Warminmonger (greta torninbutt) was bypassed for this session of the Nobel Peace Prize…..Proving her whine theatrics as more peace out then helpful. The winner was unknown was PM Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia for his “decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.”

    Sorry Pipi but you lose to a nobody president in a nowhere country for who cares…
    a Big L on your forehead honey…and on the WARMING HOAX.

  5. Hate to be a Debby downer but sooner or later these guys are going to prevail , you still left in VT are going to be stuck with a carbon tax in some form
    Or another . If you have real estate your going to get stuck without any buyers. Think about it. The live free or die state or the socialist republic of Vermont? The no sales tax or income tax state or the tax everything under the sun state. Pretty obvious choice right there

  6. Wow and wow again. The more one hears of all the seemingly disparate idiotic initiatives rolling out of Chittenden County the more it becomes apparent that if you are a sensible person living in Vermont and want a sensible life, you are going to have to leave the state.
    My hat is off to the folks that want a sane future for Vermont and stay and work hard to that end although it is certainly beginning to look like a quixotic effort.

  7. What we really need is “Value of Tax” Law which would simply state if any TAX doesn’t meet it’s
    intended goal it will seize to exist and be not allowed again for 20 years…That simple law would
    put a end to these continual ASSAULT Legislations on the middle class and poor as their designed to NOT do anything only make the leftist fascist feelz good about their fascism…

  8. They are intentionally making it impossible for people who grew up here, to retire here and live out their lives. The question is why?

    • Agenda 21, they are rolling out that plan perfectly, which coincidentally flips us to socialism, and the dream of a one world government, where all the power and control goes to the oligarch. Who coincidentally will include those funding and pushing the plan, Al Gore, Barack Obama, George Soros, the club is quite large.

      It’s getting less affordable because the money is being siphoned off by those in government or benefitting from their government connections.

      Affordable housing in Vermont for example, keeps people being a tenant of the state or rich, state funds at $500 per square foot when most homes trade at $136-$250 per square foot and then the rent is subsidized by the state because they can’t afford the expensive rent. Everybody in Government or connected are stuffing their pockets with cash, meanwhile we are creating generational poverty. This goes on all over the place, it’s crony capitalism, which is almost, very, very close to socialism. Those connected don’t want change, because they are the beneficiaries….the rest of us suffer.

  9. So if a huge massive attacker comes toward you to kill you, do you fight them head on? Or do you use their own momentum step aside, push them where they were going and push them into a wall, thereby hurting them with the intensity in which they attack? It’s typical in martial arts.

    Can 20% of Vermont fight head to head with the Nationally funded VT DNC, backed by the united nations and George Soros? Tough one there, we can’t even get the truth printed in the comment sections of papers, let alone reporters to tell the truth.

    We can however, easily expose them for the sham it is. Use their own words against them. We must realize that many, many smart people do not understand what is going on, they have not done their research, they do not understand science, they do not understand propaganda and they are not stupid. They have been taught that the world is going to end. That story has been told time and time again for at least 5,000 years and every year for the last 50, yet it never comes true, because its a lie. We know it’s totally based upon getting control of everyone’s money, and that’s the weakness, they could care less about the environment.

    President Trump has laid out the path. We need to frame the conversation, he always frames the conversation, he’s looking for the truth.

    When we say “NO CARBON TAX” we are exactly where the Now Prssc crowd wants us, they frame us as not caring about the environment, which is patently not true. If we say…hey, reduction of fossil fuel is just good economic sense, if we lay out good plans for sound stewardship. Then we expose them. They will only want money, not solutions.

    This is the path for reaching the hearts and minds of the Vermonters on this topic. Yes, Carbon Tax is the most stupid idea on the planet, but being good stewards of our land is just good common sense.

  10. This is all part of the liberal agenda. They know that the increase taxes will never be returned in any form to the people. It’s all about more government control. The mayor should pay more attention to fixing the lack of downtown construction to the ruined two city blocks which I believe is another one of his ideas.
    The only way to put this to a halt is to vote these fools out.

  11. The UN received a registered letter in SEPTEMBER 2019 from over climate 500 scientists and engineers around the world warning that there is no Climate Emergency. The “consensus” and “settled” club has not proven that CO2 is bad for the planet. In fact, there is plenty of evidence that disputes that. Vermont has a national fiscal ranking of #39. Vermont has a high state pension shortfall and high healthcare premiums. Vermonters cannot afford a tax like this. Many of us will leave the state. It would be irresponsible to even consider any proposal given the jury is still out. Thomas A Bartlett III

    • My concern is we’ll never educate enough people fast enough prior to the election. We have to expose them by their own actions, show the public they are ONLY about the money….because aside from power that’s what so many in control are all about, on both sides.

      • Many Vermonters are struggling. Recently, the DMV relaxed emissions testing on older cars to help folks make ends meet. This tax would be political suicide for the liberals when the impact hits home and that’s a good thing.

      • Many Vermonters are struggling. Recently, the DMV relaxed emissions testing on older cars to help folks make ends meet. This tax would be political suicide for the liberals when the impact hits home and that’s a good thing.

  12. The mayor is full of liberal ideas to save the planet just like his retail development in downtown Burlington and look how that’s been working out. I swear that these people walk around with their head up their a–es with all the stupid c— that they are coming up with.

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