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View Diary: Let's speak about energy (and a gas tax) now (91 comments)

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  •  A gas tax on its own it regressive ... (1+ / 0-)
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    ... it is regressive in the same way as any other consumption taxes, and moderately regressive among consumption taxes.

    Its not, mind you, as regressive as a per-person lump sum tax, but the tax incidence is regressive.

    But the spending of large amounts of public funds to subsidize the automobile transport system is also regressive, since once you have completely marginalized all other forms of transport, then it is the people on the margin who tend to be taking other forms of transport.

    However, the purpose of a gas tax in a policy for Sustainable Energy Independence is to raise the price, not to raise revenue. So there are a large number of ways to distribute that revenue that tend to help low-income people, and that can easily make the gas tax  system progressive.

    Take the simplest approach, where you just hand the money back. If the money is a pure Social Dividend, handed back fortnightly in equal shares to every resident citizen, then since higher income people tend to spend a larger total amount per person on gas, the gas tax system becomes progressive.

    OH15: IN: Kilroy for Congress. OUT:Deborah Pryce

    by BruceMcF on Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 08:58:51 AM PST

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