Friday, June 03, 2005

Greening the Tax Code

Ana Unruh Cohen at Gristmill alerts us to a forum at the Brookings Institution today entitled "Tax Reform and the Environment." Former Congressman and current member of the President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform William Frenzel brought up a maddening fact: "...out of the hundreds of submissions from the public to the panel a grand total of three could be generously described as support for 'greening' our taxes as part of a reform package." I've got to second Unruh Cohen's frustration at the fact that the big environmental groups didn't fire up the grassroots on this one -- it's not like the information on alternative "green tax" plans isn't out there. Paul Hawken's The Ecology of Commerce, as well as Natural Capitalism by Hawken, Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins come immediately to mind. But you can still submit comments to the Panel until June 10th. Another important point brought up by panelist Gilbert Metcalf is the regressive nature of green taxes (which generally look like sales taxes), but as Ana points out, " environmental tax reform plan can be constructed that maintains, or even increases, a progressive tax structure." So let's get to work...

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