Study estimates carbon tax costs

When all’s said and done, a carbon fee proposed under Initiative 1631 would increase total costs for the average Washington household by $440 in 2020 and nearly $1,000 by 2035. That’s according to a report conducted by global firm NERA Economic Consulting (NERA) and commissioned by the No on 1631 campaign. …

The state Office of Financial Management estimates the tax would bring in $2.2 billion over a five-year period. The NERA report puts the revenue collections at $30 billion by 2035; that cost is borne in the form of higher energy costs. …

As part of I-1631, revenue would be spent as directed by an oversight board primarily composed of appointees of the governor. That – along with the increased gas prices – is why many of Washington’s private labor unions oppose the initiative. The list includes the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council (WSBCTC), the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 (IUOE 302) and the Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest.

“Here in Washington, we’ve all grown tired of excess taxes that raise the cost of living and don’t deliver results” IWDCPNW Council President Steve Pendergrass said in a statement. “Before asking the voters of this state to hand over even more money, our local leaders will have to do better than vague plans and empty promises. We are opposing I-1631 because we don’t believe the collected funds will be spent effectively.”

IUOE 302 Vice President Darek Konopaski said in a statement that “it’s irresponsible to collect money for a flawed initiative, all while our roads and bridges continue to deteriorate. Our transportation infrastructure is in desperate need of essential improvements.” …

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