$78 million in new taxes to pay for carbon reduction proposed

by Guy Page

The State of Vermont should tax fossil fuels to fund carbon reduction programs required by carbon reduction mandates, a Jan. 15 report by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) recommends. Estimated annual revenue from three proposed revenue sources would total $78 million.

“Vermont is falling far short of its climate goals in the heating and transportation sectors, which represent the vast majority of our greenhouse gas emissions and the greatest cost burden for Vermont households,” the PUC report said. “Without a stable, sizable stream of public funding in those two sectors, Vermont will not meet its carbon-reduction commitments.”

The Public Utility Commission, the state’s ‘Energy Court,’ was directed by the Legislature to consider a new ‘all-fuels’ energy efficiency utility to do for thermal heat what Efficiency Vermont does for electricity: help Vermonters conserve energy through weatherization and other means. The PUC passed on that idea but did recommend raising revenue by taxing fossil fuels in three different ways:

  • $20-40 million annual revenue from the regional Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI). This multi-state initiative would charge fuel wholesalers for ‘carbon pollution clean-up.’ The wholesalers would then pass this cost along to vehicle operators when they pull up to the gas or diesel pump.
  • Up to $18 million annually from a Thermal Efficiency Benefit Charge on the sale of fuel oil, propane, and kerosene.
  • $20 million from an eight-cent fuel tax increase.

The PUC report promises increased weatherization and transition to an electrified transportation will save Vermonters money in the long run. The Vermont Fuel Dealers Association seems less optimistic, especially with the likely impact on rural Vermonters heavily dependent on fossil fuels for heat and transportation.

“Vermont lawmakers should not support the regressive taxation of energy needed to heat our homes and power our vehicles,” a VFDA statement said. “Given that rural Vermonters depend on these fuels the most, these taxes will have the effect of taking from the poor and giving to the rich as the taxes paid by all will provide incentives for Vermonters with means to purchase new electric vehicles and heaters.

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8 replies »

  1. Why do we have to tolerate thePUC,or Energy Courts decision to raise taxes by$78 million to support carbon reduction?we need to wake up and make sure thePUC,Governor Scott,and our Vermont legislators know that what Vermont needs is less taxes,open restaurants,people working,farmers actually able to pay their bills and to be with family and friends ASAP!! This is only big government getting bigger and is a heartless and will help know one!! We the people can no longer tolerate taxation without representation!!

  2. Bend over and get ready for more taxes !

    $20-40 million annual revenue from the regional Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI). This multi-state initiative would charge fuel wholesalers for ‘carbon pollution clean-up.’ The wholesalers would then pass this cost along to vehicle operators when they pull up to the gas or diesel pump.

    Up to $18 million annually from a Thermal Efficiency Benefit Charge on the sale of fuel oil, propane, and kerosene.

    $20 million from an eight-cent fuel tax increase                             

    Yes Sir ! Thank you Sir ! May I please have another Sir ? When will the morons under the “Golden Dumb” realize that they are not doing us any favors ?

      • Don’t these dolts realize that all they are doing is moving the poverty line a little higher every time they raise taxes ? They aren’t “helping” anybody ! More and more people will be in need of assistance to keep warm and feed themselves. Is that their goal, to make people more dependent on government assistance ? With more “needy” people there will be a smaller pool of people that will be able to support the intentionally marginalized lower income people. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to push Socialism !

    • the “morons” your words, under the Golden Dome chose to elect 23 people how owe us NONE repeat NONE at all any recourse for their actions. They simply are not elected by “we the people” and we cannot elect them. They are a power on their own, with a responsibility only to make sure we cut our carbon foot print a lot or the state will face dire consequences. I can sue them to make sure they are doing it. In passing this carbon bill, they washed their hands of full responsibility. And some how or other a board not elected by us can and will raise taxes.

  3. Why am I not surprised? Vermont has a financial death wish and seems hell-bent on making all the wrong choices. I can envision a Vermont populated by elitists, using former farms and open land as their playground while they survey their domaine from their electric cars.

    • Sorry Judith, but that ship already sailed with the coming of the trust fund babies that flooded in here along with Beanie Sandman in the late 60s and 70s. The only difference is that their VW buses have morphed into E.V.s, their tar paper shacks that dotted the woods in Plainfield, and Marshfield, and towns around other liberal institutions of “higher learning” mysteriously burned in the late 70s, and were replaced with nice houses with multi-vehicle garages in which they store their VW buses, so they can still get them out when they want to go to a protest, or some other appropriate venue. Now they in all their wisdom sit on select boards, in state legislature, and yes, one of these wannabe Vermonters has even been anointed to the U.S. Senate, others to combat the boredom of having to much money take “busy” jobs as lobbyists, or volunteer at other positions where they can donate their wealth of knowledge to better the lives of the little people. Am I stereotyping the Flatlanders that homesteaded here in the 60s and 70s ? If there wasn’t so many of them that fit that stereotype, it would not be so easy to do, but there are, and it is.

  4. HIGHER taxes means LESS for us to spend with our LOCAL merchants . HIGHER taxes WILL BE A JOB KILLER.

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