I support a state carbon tax [“Time for carbon tax is now, Inslee urges”], but I agree also with Op-Ed writer Ruth Lipscomb that the state tax code is unfair to lower incomes [“We can fix our state’s broken, unfair tax system”], and a carbon tax likewise would place a disproportionate burden on lower-income households and small businesses. Using carbon-tax revenue to fund progressive tax reforms, such as the Working Families Tax Rebate, a homestead-tax exemption, a sales-tax cut, and a higher business and occupation tax reporting threshold, would allow Washington to put a price on carbon without worsening its already unfair lower-income tax burden.
For a carbon price to affect long-term investment, it can’t seem vulnerable to repeal as soon as a thin legislative majority flips to a different party. Having been raised by Republican parents, I can just hear them dismissing a carbon tax as simply another Democratic power grab if it seems loaded with payouts for Democratic interest groups, and even people who support climate action in general would have reason to want limits on the size of the burden they bear for a state-level effort facing federal-level sabotage.
John Franco, Seattle