Opinion: Carbon tax good for Vermonters

An unusual new tax is under discussion in Montpelier right now. It’s unusual because the proceeds will go right back into the pockets of Vermonters. And it’s unusual because the sponsors would be happy if you did everything possible to avoid paying this tax.
It’s called a “carbon pollution tax.” The idea is to put a small but gradually increasing tax on gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels to help us gradually wean ourselves off them. The proceeds would return to Vermont individuals, businesses and institutions in the form of rebates, tax credits and a reduction in the sales and use tax. Part of the money would be put into investments in renewable energy sources and conservation. This legislation is supported by low-income advocacy groups because it explicitly includes monetary protections for low-income Vermonters.
The better you become at living without depending on fossil fuels, the less tax you will pay. But your benefit from the sales tax cut and rebates will remain the same.
You can learn more about the carbon pollution tax by going to www.energyindependentvt.org.
Spencer Putnam

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