I had a chance to meet Aaron Tam from Carbon Washington at a Ballot Initiative training workshop in Seattle, WA. I-732 was created by grassroots citizens, not by politicians or special interest group. it is endorsed by both parties in the state legislature, by business leaders and Audubon Washington.  It was meant to fight climate change and expand clean energy by charging a carbon tax of up to $25 per ton, but yet giving back to manufacturers in order to keep good jobs in Washington. It offers a tax reduction for working families.

I was curious to find more information on the subject. For starts:

The official website http://yeson732.org/

It is essentially a tax swap. Here are the four pillars of the policy proposal:

  • Reduce the state sales tax by one full percentage point.
  • Fund the Working Families Rebate to provide up to $1500 a year for 400,000 low-income working households.
  • Effectively eliminate the B&O business tax for manufacturers.
  • Institute a carbon tax of $25 per metric ton CO2 on fossil fuels consumed in the state of Washington.

Here is our legal language and here are some details:

  • This tax swap will take place over two years, with the sales tax reduction divided in two (a half-percentage-point reduction in each year) and the carbon tax phasing in from $15 per ton in the first year to $25 per ton in the second year and then increasing thereafter at 3.5% plus inflation (up to a maximum of $100 in 2016 dollars) in order to maintain revenue neutrality. The Working Families Rebate will phase in from 15% of the federal EITC in the first year to 25% of the federal EITC in the second year and beyond. The effective elimination of the B&O tax for manufacturers appears in full in the first year.

Continued here: http://yeson732.org/plain-language/

Olympic Climate Action backs it up but also offers the dissenting views, such as the non-endorsement from the Sierra Club.  https://olyclimate.org/

A more detailed analysis is offered from the Sightline Institute Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

More from Aaron Tam:

I-732 polls around 50%, and we have less than 2 months left until the November ballot. We need all the help we can get to make sure it passes. When given a simple explanation about the initiative, voter support for I-732 increases by 15-20%. So we just need to spread the word and educate voters!

If you’re interested in helping spread the word about this initiative, we could use your help! There are 3 main ways to educate voters about I-732: doorknocking, calling voters, or talking to voters at events.

  • You can RSVP to upcoming group outreach events in Seattle hereHelp us talk with voters and hand out flyers. There are events nearly every day in Seattle!
  • Learn how you can doorknock in your own neighborhood.
  • Call voters from home using Call-Fire (or join us for group phonebanking at our office near Gas Works Park). Call from anywhere, anytime. Call-Fire masks your phone number, so you can call from any phone.  Follow our instructions on our website to get started.
  • You can also write a Letter to the Editor for your local newspaper.
If you have any questions, you can email me too. Thank you for your support!

Aaron Tam

Carbon Washington l Regional Campaign Coordinator