To the editor — In a Sept. 30 letter about Initiative 732, Stephen Kenny omitted something crucially important. I-732 includes sales tax reductions that are equal to the carbon tax revenue. State sales tax is reduced from 6 percent to 5 percent, the business tax is slashed to almost nothing and a tax rebate is given to low-income families.
Sightline Institute, an independent research center, declared it revenue-neutral “to the best of anyone’s ability to forecast it.” Revenue-neutral taxation is effective at reducing pollution, doesn’t slow the economy, works without government interference and won’t wind up in court.
The 2,000 jobs in the fossil energy sector will mostly remain and new jobs will appear in every sector as consumption patterns shift. Major energy users can retain their workforce as they turn to clean power by using the decline in business tax to help with costs. Export manufacturers need the drop in business tax to stay competitive. Some firms will do particularly well, e.g. pulp mills that don’t use fossil fuel.
Mr. Kenny is wrong in saying I-732 is political. Local economists initiated the initiative, and many prominent economists have voiced support. George P. Schultz, our most politically experienced Republican economist, endorses I-732. That should matter.