Will people that drive a lot get taxed for their carbon in California?



  1. 0 Votes

    Probably not any time soon. Carbon taxes are a pretty controversial proposition here in the United States, despite the great success that some European countries, notably Denmark, have had with them. It is true that there is currently at least one carbon tax in effect in California, at the local level, passed in 2008 by the San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District, but it doesn’t tax drivers. The tax is aimed at companies and agencies, levying a tax of 4.4 cents on every metric ton of CO2 that they generate. Even Colorado’s carbon tax, which does reach consumers directly, comes in the form of surcharges on peoples’ power bills and does not appear to be aimed at driving specifically. I think it would be difficult to tax driving as an activity, at least directly. The way to do it would be either to impose a surcharge on the sale of gasoline, or couple a carbon tax with road tolls or some other demand-activated fee. So far as I know these proposals are not on the table in California.

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