The British Columbia 'Tax Swap'

An environmental economist and a law professor pronounces the increased carbon tax in British Columbia "the smartest tax in the world" and advise the U.S. to get onboard.
July 6, 2012, 6am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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While U.S. politicians are debating whether the Affordable Health Care Act is a tax or penalty, Yoram Bauman from Sightline Institute and Shi-Ling Hsu from Florida State University and author of "The Case for a Carbon Tax" present their idea:

"On (July 1), the best climate policy in the world got even better: British Columbia's carbon tax - a tax on the carbon content of all fossil fuels burned in the province - increased from $25 to $30 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, making it more expensive to pollute.

This was good news not only for the environment but for nearly everyone who pays taxes in British Columbia, because the carbon tax is used to reduce taxes for individuals and businesses

Thanks to this tax swap, British Columbia has lowered its corporate income tax rate to 10 percent from 12 percent, a rate that is among the lowest in the Group of 8 wealthy nations. Personal income taxes for people earning less than $119,000 per year are now the lowest in Canada, and there are targeted rebates for low-income and rural households.

The province is waiting for the rest of North America to catch up so that its tax system will not become unbalanced or put energy-intensive industries at a competitive disadvantage.

The United States should jump at the chance to adopt a similar revenue-neutral tax swap. It's an opportunity to reduce existing taxes, clean up the environment and increase personal freedom and energy security."

Thanks to Loren Spiekerman

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Published on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 in The New York Times - Opinion
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