I-1631 energy tax would hit workers and small businesses

I’ve carried a union card almost all my adult life and I will tell you this: It’s the little people who will bear the brunt of this initiative, paying the billions of dollars in new taxes.

Don’t believe me? Most corporations won’t pay the tax. They took the generous exemptions handed out by initiative supporters.

So if the largest corporations in Washington state are off the hook, who is left? You and me: the small business owner, the construction worker driving from Snohomish County to Seattle to get to a job site, the mom shuttling kids to school. …

A state analysis shows I-1631 increases energy taxes by $2.3 billion in the first five years alone. It adds hundreds of millions of dollars to ratepayers’ energy bills for higher utility costs. And I-1631’s taxes would continue to automatically increase every year — indefinitely, with no set cap. …

This measure also lacks accountability. I-1631 creates an unelected board of political appointees, with no real accountability to voters or even the Legislature. This board has broad authority to spend billions, with no responsibility for outcomes, no specific plan, and no requirements that the money be spent to reduce greenhouse gases.

In the end, researchers say after 15 years and $30 billion, the state won’t meet its reduction goals and would leave 93 percent of Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions untouched.

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