A new Portland State University report shows that a carbon tax in conjunction with a policy shift could generate $1 billion a year for Oregon -- while at the same time shrinking other taxes and reducing greenhouse gases.
The study looked at British Columbia, which adopted a carbon tax in 2008. Tom Potiowsky of PSU's Northwest Economic Research Center looked at the Canadian province's economic figures. He says it makes sense that if you want less carbon, you should tax it.
He explained, "It's sort of like, let's tax what's bad. And let's lower the taxes on things that are good. And that approach can be what's sometimes called a double dividend. So the tax is lowering greenhouse gas emissions, but then also you repatriate the tax back, by lowering business taxes and lowering household taxes."
And that, he says, helps an area's overall economic activity.
Businesses like trucking companies would be the hardest hit. But Potiowsky believes that could be softened giving them things like tax credits to invest in electric trucks.
The Oregon Legislature is considering four carbon tax bills. Hearings are scheduled later this month.