Carbon tax could lower income taxes

Kudos on your editorial advocating a reduction in income tax rates that would put more money in consumers’ hands and spur the economy.

However, the state will have to find a way to make up the deficit, and reducing support for schools and necessary services will backfire as businesses complain roads are in disrepair or inadequately plowed, and as teachers have less income to spend when jobs or hours are slashed.

So how can New Yorkers reduce tax on income and yet not hurt the economy with these undesirable side effects? Instead of advocating for a state income tax cut, they should advocate for a national carbon tax with offsetting reductions in federal income taxes (a much bigger chunk of change for most taxpayers than New York state income tax). A national carbon tax would be paid by producers of coal, oil and gas with equal offset in income taxes. New Yorkers would benefit by having lower federal income taxes, and if they become more energy efficient, their expenditures for heat, electricity and gasoline will not increase, so they will be better off without losing necessary public services.

A national carbon tax can be a win-win-win situation:

1.) Lower income taxes without reductions in necessary local services.

2.) Lower emissions for a more stable future climate.

3.) Economic growth as private investors respond to higher fossil-fuel prices by financing more renewable-energy projects that create jobs and eventually reduce the costs of electricity.

Please endorse a revenue-neutral carbon tax.


Member of Citizens Climate Lobby

Brookline, Mass.