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Janet E. Milne

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Janet E. Milne

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Carbon tax choices: the tale of four states

Carbon Taxes, Energy Subsidies and Smart Instrument Mixes

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.

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Janet E. Milne

Economics shapes environmental pricing theory, but the law translates theory into reality. This research review examines and discusses carefully selected classic and cutting-edge articles from around the world that delve into the legal design features of environmental tax instruments, how governments define the legal authority to use environmental taxation, complex interactions with WTO law and the legal conundrums of border tax adjustments. These influential articles cover a wide range of environmental and legal issues that recur across continents, with carbon taxes and climate change taking centre stage as important case studies. This timely review is an essential resource for those working in the field, whether they are trained in law, economics, political science, environmental science or public finance.
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Janet E. Milne

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Janet E. Milne

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Janet E. Milne

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Janet E. Milne and Mikael Skou Andersen