Letter: Give carbon tax a try
I am writing to express my support for the energy tax on the ballot in Carbondale.
This is a very small tax that is in fact a very big deal. It will allow our community to help individual homeowners and business owners implement energy-efficiency measures to reduce their energy use and their energy bills. It will help us go a long way toward achieving our energy goals as a community and reducing our impact on climate change.
By reducing our use of electricity and natural gas in Carbondale with support from this tax, we will set an important example for other communities to follow. There are only three other jurisdictions in the United States that have carbon taxes like this in effect, so this vote actually matters.
Spending will be overseen by the Board of Trustees. The board has already made it clear to the agencies that will help implement energy-efficiency programs, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency and Clean Energy Economy for the Region, that they need to put low-income outreach and efficiency work at the top of their work agenda. I expect that the Board of Trustees will continue to make sure that the people most affected by the energy tax are the first to receive its benefits, which will ultimately save them more money than the tax will cost.
Carbondale over the years has set a very good example on energy. Our town government and many of our businesses and residents have taken extraordinary measures to reduce their energy consumption. This tax, which would “sunset” in six years unless voters renewed it, is the best way to ensure the good work continues. February was the hottest month on record, and it follows years of rising temperatures and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. It may seem like there’s little we can do individually, but as a community we can make a difference.
Please vote in favor of Ballot Issue 2A and help Carbondale take positive steps to reduce our impact on the climate. Let’s try it out for size for the next six years, and if we don’t like it, we can let the tax expire.
I also support Ballot Issue 2B, which would allow the town to create a capital-improvements reserve fund to ensure that the town can keep the streets, sidewalks and buildings it owns in good shape.