The building and construction trades, which includes Architects, Engineers, General Contractors, Painters, Flooring Installers, Electricians, Plumbers, and other related vocations, will see an increase in new business and new jobs as a result of passing Initiative 732. This is because reductions in the state sales tax realized by this sector will far exceed new energy costs from a carbon tax. The tax swap proposed by I-732 reduces the state sales tax one full percentage point, effectively lowering the cost for new construction and renovation projects in Washington State, while boosting demand.
Whether analyzing the impacts of I-732 on the building trades and construction industry in Washington State from a big picture aggregate tax perspective, or from an individual builder’s perspective, the results are clear. Passing I-732 is a huge win for the building and construction trade sector!
I-732 will reduce the cost to construct and remodel homes and buildings in Washington State, will attract more development to the State, and will increase jobs in this sector.
Given this is a clear financial win that will create new business and new jobs, it is extremely troubling that representatives of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council and Building Industry Association of Clark County have spoken out against I-732.
This is a tragic example of labor unions advocating against a policy that is clearly in the best interest of workers.
I-732 has been endorsed by economists, climate scientists, and political leaders on both sides of the aisle, and will serve as a model of effective climate legislation for the entire country. This is our best shot to tackle climate change for the next four years or possibly even longer. The climate can’t wait. We all have a moral responsibility to focus on carbon reduction now to protect our children and future generations by tackling climate change now, and leaving them a cleaner, healthier, safer world.