Air Resources Board Approves $2 Billion Tax on California Businesses
(October 21, 2011) Yesterday the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to adopt the rules for a cap-and-trade program that would set a maximum limit for greenhouse gas emissions while allowing regulated industries to buy or trade emissions credits to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions as established by AB 32. Included in what was approved by CARB yesterday is a tax, estimated by a CARB member to raise $2 billion from businesses, that will drive up costs for California consumers.
California Chamber of Commerce Policy Advocate Brenda M. Coleman has urged the Board to eliminate what has been identified as an illegal and arbitrary tax. The CalChamber has also argued for adoption of an operable, cost-effective market designed to meet the goals of AB 32 without creating undue harm to the economy.
“Imposing a tax on business via CARB’s proposal does nothing to maximize environmental benefits required under AB 32 and it is not needed to ensure the stringency of the overall cap,” said Coleman. "In fact, the tax proposed by CARB contradicts the AB 32 requirements of minimizing costs and maximizing benefits for California’s economy in the design of emission reduction measures. The tax will negatively affect all California businesses and increase costs that will be passed down to consumers.”
Yesterday Coleman told CARB again: “CalChamber believes this is an illegal tax that will negatively impact businesses and consumers at a time when they can least afford it."
The CalChamber has been an active voice representing the interests of nearly 15,000 California employers throughout the process of AB 32 implementation.