Restructuring Minnesota’s Tax System: Taxing Pollution Rather Than Work and Investment – Testimony

Restructuring Minnesota’s Tax System: Taxing Pollution Rather Than Work and Investment – Testimony

Date: 23 Feb 1995 | posted in: Energy, environment, The Public Good | 0 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

In February 1995, ILSR’s Vice President David Morris testified at the Minnesota Legislature on how Green Taxes could be used as a substitute for other forms of tax revenues.

Pollution taxes are an idea whose time has come.  Nations are discovering that their existing tax systems undermine economic efficiency and encourage pollution.  By raising the cost of resource inefficiency and lowering the cost of investment and employment, states and nations can encourage high productivity, higher employment and lower pollution.  Minnesota has been in the forefront of creative thinking not only in the environmental sector but in the tax sector.  Now it needs to put its collective thinking cap on and design a tax system that encourages economic efficiency and environmental protection.

We can and should engage in a statewide discussion about the kinds of pollution taxes and the kinds of tax reductions we should favor.  In some respects, we have the capacity to look before we leap.  We can use our modelling and analytical capabilities to evaluate the impact of various types of environmentally based tax shifting proposals.  We should use that capability to inform the statewide discussion and then, perhaps in the next legislative session, introduce legislation that reflects the outcome of this analysis and this discussion.

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David Morris

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its initiative on The Public Good. He is the author of the New City States, Seeing the Light, and three other non-fiction books. His essays on public policy are regularly published by On the Commons, Alternet, Common Dreams and the Huffington Post. Connect David on twitter or email dmorris(at) Sign-up for our monthly Public Good Newsletter

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