Campaign News

WPC analysis of I 732

The Washington Policy Center — an independent, non-profit, think tank that promotes sound public policy based on free-market solutions — has released a “Citizens’ Guide to Initiative 732.”

Written by Todd Myers, director of WPC’s Center for the Environment, the report calls I-732 “an approach that moves decision making and responsibility about environmental policy away from politicians and puts it in the hands of individuals most able to make effective change.”

“For those concerned about climate change,” says WPC’s analysis, “Initiative 732 yields more carbon reduction, at lower cost, than any of the alternative policies offered at the state or local level.

A survey of 41 prominent economists asked if a ‘tax on the carbon content of fuels would be a less expensive way to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions that would a collection of policies such as “corporate average fuel economy” requirements for automobiles.’ Ninety percent of panelists agreed.33 This approach is significantly less costly than the government-heavy approach that dominates Washington’s current climate policy.

“For those less concerned about climate change, the judgement comes down to weighing the impact of an estimated $200 million annual tax cut versus the impact on state government spending. Some individuals and businesses would see their tax burden decline; others would see it increase.

“As the strong opposition from the environmental community demonstrates, a revenue-neutral approach of taxing carbon emissions is very far from the top-down, government-heavy approach that has come to define so much of our environmental policy. Rather than a politically driven mix of subsidies for favored industries, increased regulation and expanded government spending, putting a price on carbon emission and cutting other taxes provides consumers the incentive to use the information that only they have to make small adjustments to reduce their environmental impact. And, the more effective people are at finding ways to reduce emissions, the greater the tax cut they would personally receive.”

Read the WPC’s complete report.


About Initiative 732

I-732 represents the most effective climate policy and the most progressive tax shift in decades in Washington and is designed to move the state toward two goals – cleaner energy and fairer taxes – with the following policy objectives:

  • Tax pollution, not people. I-732 will add a $25 per ton tax to polluting fossil fuels
  • Pay less at the cash register. I 732 reduces the state sales tax by one percentage point, putting hundreds of dollars a year back into the pockets of each household in Washington
  • Support working families. The policy funds the Working Families Tax Rebate, providing up to $1,500 a year for approximately 400,000 low-income households
  • Promote innovation and economic growth. I-732 supports business growth and job creation by effectively eliminating the Business and Occupation Tax on manufacturing
About Carbon Washington

Carbon Washington is a non-partisan grassroots group of scientists, economists, former elected officials, business owners and concerned citizens focused on seeking a solution to climate change that works for businesses and households around the state. The group developed Initiative 732 as a revenue-neutral approach to taxing carbon pollution while encouraging economic growth for families and businesses in Washington. To learn more about I732, view endorsements from around the state, and get involved, visit and follow on twitter @carbonwa.