British Columbia’s Carbon Tax Swap is a Huge Success

The British Columbia Carbon Tax Swap shifted their existing taxes away from the goods they wanted more of, and onto the bad carbon pollution they wanted less of.

The world bank reports over a 6-year period BC has enjoyed:

  • 19.1% reduction in petroleum consumption per capita relative to the rest of Canada
  • 37% greater rate of GDP growth relative to the rest of Canada
  • The BC carbon tax capped at $30/ton in 2012 so reductions per capita have leveled off
  • I-732 will continue to grow at 3.5% + Inflation until reaching a cap of $100/ton in 2059
  • The BC carbon tax has outperformed what econometric models like CTAM anticipated
  • Opponents of I-732 are trying to discount the success in BC to discourage support for I-732

british columbia carbon tax swap chart
In 2008 a right of center parliament in BC implemented a market-driven mechanism to reduce carbon pollution. The revenue neutral tax swap they designed encourages efficiency, conservation, innovation and new infrastructure investments by putting a price on carbon pollution The policy directs 100% of the revenue towards reducing existing taxes. The net effect of this policy has been: no tax increases, no measurable growth in the size of government, no new regulations, a growth in GDP, and a decline in carbon plus local air water and soil pollution.

Washington State can improve upon this success by voting Yes on I-732 on November 8th, 2016.