Thursday, May 23, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, December 23, 2018
Carbon Tax: Will You Fiddle While Paris Burns?
By Tom Yamachika @ 4:00 AM :: 2020 Views :: Energy, Environment, Tax Credits, Taxes

Carbon Tax: Will You Fiddle While Paris Burns?

by Tom Yamachika, President, Tax Foundation Hawaii

On November 28, our state Climate Commission, consisting of 22 county and state government officials, issued a press release affirming that it supports a carbon tax “to achieve Hawaii’s ambitious and necessary emissions reduction goals.” The climate commission includes three members of the State Senate and three members of the House, so it’s a pretty good bet that a carbon tax will be considered in this coming legislative session.

About a year ago, we wrote about carbon tax because our Hawaii Tax Review Commission also recommended one. The form of tax that was being considered was a charge on all fossil fuels that are either manufactured or imported.

If enacted, the carbon tax would be the fifth special tax imposed on fuel. Hawaii already imposes a state tax on liquid fuels and allows the counties to impose a county fuel tax on top of it. These taxes go to the state and county highway funds. They are meant to raise funds from those who use the highways and byways. (Two so far.) Then we have the barrel tax, which is a charge of $1.05 per barrel of imported petroleum product and a similar charge on the BTU equivalent of alternative fuels. A small part of this charge sets up a fund to protect us from an oil spill incident, some goes to protect energy security, agricultural development, and food security, and most of it goes into our general fund. (That’s the third.) Then, of course, we have our general excise tax, which is imposed on just about everything. That tax feeds our general fund. (That’s the fourth.) A carbon tax would in theory compensate for the social costs associated with carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, and it would create a market incentive to use different fuels even among the fossil fuels currently in use; but its impact would have to be considered along with the other four taxes.

Source: Carbon Tax Center

Perhaps it’s good for lawmakers to worry about the end of the world as we know it, which perhaps will be staved off by the social change the tax encourages. But their constituents are worried not about the end of the world, but the end of next week. Will their paychecks be enough to pay the rent, keep the lights on, or feed the family? If the cost of simply driving to work from the suburbs is horrible now, just wait until the tax kicks in.

If I suggested that there will be rioting in the streets, you would probably chuckle under your breath; but see where French President Emmanuel Macron now finds himself. Hundreds of thousands of French citizens in yellow vests literally made Paris an inferno, and those citizens were up in arms about a proposed carbon tax that would have added about 25 cents per gallon to the cost of fuel there.

And if you think the hammer of a carbon tax will fall most heavily on huge, faceless corporations like the electric company, the airlines, or the shippers, think again. Businesses can and will pass on any enhanced costs to their consumers if they hope to continue providing their products or services. That means our already astronomical cost of living will head further up into the stratosphere.

Certainly, it may be worth rethinking how we now tax fossil fuel. The patchwork of different state and local taxes all applying at once leads to unclear and inconsistent messages sent to the taxpaying public, which is not good for implementing social policy regardless of what the policy is.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

Affordable Hawaii Coalition

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT