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Paying for PollutionWhy a Carbon Tax is Good for America$
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Gilbert E. Metcalf

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190694197

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190694197.001.0001

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What to Do with $200 Billion: Give It Back

What to Do with $200 Billion: Give It Back

(p.87) Chapter 6 What to Do with $200 Billion: Give It Back
Paying for Pollution

Gilbert E. Metcalf

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how economists measure the burden of a carbon tax—which households have less spending power because of the tax. It also discusses fairness in the tax code and how the revenue, which can be substantial, from a carbon tax can be returned to households and businesses in ways that enhance the fairness and efficiency of the overall tax system. A common belief is that a carbon tax is regressive—that it disproportionately burdens poor households. Studies discussed in this chapter refute this belief and argue that judicious use of the carbon tax revenue can make a carbon tax reform (tax and return of the revenue) even more progressive.

Keywords:   fairness, progressivity, tax reform, incidence, income distribution

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