Browse by title
Paying a Fair Share?
Edited by Richard Eccleston and Ainsley Elbra
Richard Eccleston and Ainsley Elbra
Economic liberalisation and the rise of MNCs in recent decades have been a double-edged sword. With the exception of the 2008 Financial Crisis and its aftermath, the rise of global capitalism has been a key driver of economic growth and technological innovation, but at the same time has undermined state sovereignty and exacerbated inequality (Mikler 2018). Nowhere has this dualism been more apparent than in the realm of corporate taxation, which has become a prime example of what Martin Wolf (2012) describes as a ‘contemporary tragedy of the global commons’. The ‘tragedy’ is such that MNC tax avoidance is now estimated to deny governments over a quarter of a trillion US dollars per year, and after years of ignoring the issue governments and firms are being forced to act (Clausing 2015; OECD 2015).
Ainsley Elbra and Richard Eccleston
Blatant corporate tax avoidance has attracted the ire of politicians, citizens and consumers the world over in recent years. Since the financial crisis of 2008, international taxation has become a mainstream political issue championed by social justice campaigners and the progressive press the world over. Globally, governments and intergovernmental organisations have announced a range of reforms designed to ensure that MNCs pay their ‘fair share’ of tax, while some of the world’s most powerful and profitable firms have been subjected to multibillion-dollar fines.
Edited by Mona Hymel, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Janet E. Milne
While carbon tax measures have not yet met with success at the federal level in the United States, proposals for carbon taxes emerged in a handful of states in 2015 and 2016. The proposals address the shared challenge of climate change, but each has its own unique features and setting. Drawing on proposals in Oregon, Massachusetts, Vermont and Washington as case studies, this chapter explores how state constitutions can affect the design of state-level carbon taxes and their legislative route toward enactment. For example, the Oregon constitution imposes limits on tax rates and use of the revenue when taxing certain fossil fuels. The constitutions in three of the four states require that some types of revenue measures must originate in the legislative House of Representatives, not the Senate, raising the question whether carbon taxes can be designed in a manner that will avoid this procedural constraint. In Washington, the carbon tax proposal came forward as a ballot initiative that went to voters in the general election, following a procedure permitted under the state constitution. These case studies serve as an important reminder of how constitutional provisions that were not created with climate change in mind can influence the design features of subnational carbon taxes and political strategies.
Claudia Kettner and Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig
In the EU CO2 emissions from industry and energy supply are regulated under the EU Emission Trading Scheme. In contrast, emissions from private households, transport and other small sources are regulated on the Member State level as no comprehensive EU policy strategy is in place for these sectors. Policy instruments specific to the transport sector include fuel taxes, vehicle registration taxes and ownership taxes, which can each contain a specific CO2 component, as well as performance standards and road pricing schemes. This chapter includes an empirical analysis of energy and carbon taxes in the transport sector for the EU Member States focusing on an assessment of fuel tax rates as well as on registration and ownership taxation of passenger cars. It is shown that Member States' tax systems still exhibit pronounced differences with respect to both tax categories. Taxation can make a significant contribution towards achieving emission reductions in the transport sector and should be given more weight by Member States in view of achieving their greenhouse gas reduction targets.