LETTER: Carbon tax initiative will save you in the short term, long run

Starting next year, I-732 would place a $15-per-ton tax on fossil fuels and provide $1,500 for low-income working families.

In the Oct. 17 Peninsula Daily News, [“Can The U.S. Win This Election?”], New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote that we can start fixing things in the USA by “replacing some income and corporate taxes with a revenue-neutral carbon tax to stimulate more clean-energy production.”

In Washington state, we have the opportunity to approve Initiative 732, which will do just that.

I-732 places a tax of $15 a ton on production and burning of fossil fuels starting in 2017.

This increases to $25 a ton in 2018.

Then it’s indexed with inflation up to a maximum of $100 per ton.

I-732 reduces the state sales tax by 1 percent, reduces or eliminates many manufacturing business and occupation taxes and provides up to $1,500 to low-income working families in our state.

I-732 mimics the successful program in British Columbia implemented in 2008.

The program will now be implemented across Canada.

I-732 is a beginning.

I-732 may increase electrical bills 0.002 cents per kilowatt hour.

This is less than my electrical cost increase over the past four years, averaging 0.0046 cents per kilowatt hour per year.

Gas prices are expected to initially rise about 25 cents per gallon.

The sales tax reduction, for many of us, will more than cancel out that increase.

Check out the UW Carbon Tax Swap Calculator at carbon.cs.washington.edu to see whether I-732 may save you money.

Bob Vreeland,

Port Angeles