• Tom Moyer

How you can help the carbon tax bill

HB304 carbon tax bill update: We have a Fiscal Note!

HB304 S1 (the S1 means First Substitute, because Rep. Briscoe made some edits last week) now has a Fiscal Note! Here's my first draft attempt to create a summary in two pie charts showing the big picture on the Fiscal Note, which is--as expected--that there's a modest price on carbon, raising about $600m a year, with about 10% of the money going to local air pollution clean-up and rural economic development, and 90% of the money going to cut existing taxes such as the state sales tax on grocery store food. The details on the Fiscal Note are... well, as Rep Briscoe says, Fiscal Notes are kind of like a foreign language (go read it and you'll see!), so I'm meeting with the fiscal analyst (again) on Monday and will have more to say then about the details, and perhaps an updated pie chart too.

For a good non-technical overview of the bill, see the Sign-On Letter, which thanks to Byran D's effort now includes a sign-on by the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City as well as League of Women Votersand Utah Citizens' Council! And some groups who are not on the sign-on letter have "support" positions stated on their websites: Action Utah, Utah Clean Energy, Utah Sierra Club, Alliance for a Better Utah, and Great Salt Lake Audubon. And of course we are continuing to work hard to get some right-of-center support from both NGOs and legislators!

The next step for HB304is to (hopefully) get a committee hearing. Possible outcomes range from the bill getting a hearing this coming week (presumably in the House Revenue & Taxation Committee, but possibly in the House Natural Resources Committee or elsewhere) to the bill getting stuck in the Rules Committee and not getting a hearing at all. So... stay tuned, keep your fingers crossed, and thanks to Norma W and Kathy vDfor volunteering to keep an eye on the committee agendas and alerting us to any news! (And PS if you want to see details on the bill then go to the webpage for HB304and click on the right-hand-side---where it says "Other versions: HB 304 1st Substitute"---to get links to the text of HB 304 S1as well as the Fiscal Note. Other documents are linked from the Climate Utah bill tracker, including the fact sheet and talking pointsone-pagers, the Sign-On Letter, and my notes describing the bill. And BTW the Climate Utah bill trackeralso has info on other bills of interest, including HB411, Rep Handy's bill to allow municipalities to buy 100% renewable electricity, and HB413, Rep Ward's bill for tax credits for energy-efficient vehicles.)

Three ways you can help!Draft 2-3 paragraphs of testimonyfor what you would say if you had 1-2 minutes before a legislative committee. Send it to me (yoram@standupeconomist.com) and/or to climateutah@gmail.com. If you have even more to say then draft a 600-word op-ed piece! Some ideas for testimony/op-ed themes: taxing fossil fuels instead of food, local air pollution and the economy, and Utah being a worthy potential host for the 2030 Winter Olympics.Play around with the calculator tool(download a newly updated version here; updates include diesel fuel and a commercial business tab) and let me know if anything doesn't work or looks wrong or could be better, etc: yoram@standupeconomist.com. Note that this is an early draft so there could well be major problems, so please don't publicize or emphasize.Come support HB304 if and when it gets a hearing!We may only have 24 hours notice, and as noted above there may not be a hearing at all, but if there is then it would be great to have a strong turn-out to support the bill! Next meeting W March 6 at 9am: All are welcome!

This coming week we'll be meeting on Wednesday from 9-10am in the usual location (Room 400 in the Capitol Building, top floor, north side). All are welcome!If you have any troubles then call or text me 206-351-5719.

And thanks to everyone who came to our meeting this last week: Bryan D, Carole S, Helen M, Kaden M, Kathy vD, Melanie H, Norma W, Ronan C, yours truly, and Rep Briscoe! And I accidentally left Jack Greene off the meeting list from last week; sorry, Jack, and thanks for coming all the way from Logan!

Cheers, Yoram