It was great to see the recent article on I-732, the carbon tax initiative ("Washington voters to decide on nation's first carbon tax," A1, Oct. 9).

Putting a price on carbon is one of the most effective ways we can reduce the risks associated with climate change.

One important aspect of this initiative is that it is not an increase but a "tax swap," cutting the sales and B&O taxes to offset the carbon tax revenue.

This revenue neutrality is one reason many organizations have not supported I-732. They prefer a tax whose revenue would not be rebated, but instead would be used to fund clean energy projects, help disadvantaged communities and retrain workers. These may be worthy objectives, but they don't have to be included in this law. Past attempts to pass such ambitious legislation have failed to pass even Democratic Party-controlled bodies of the state Legislature.

I-732 gives those who are concerned about climate change, but are not necessarily advocates of big government, a chance to join in this fight to protect our planet.

Some fear the additional costs that a carbon tax will impose on Washington businesses. The framers of I-732 have taken these concerns into account. The cuts in sales and B&O taxes assure that our manufacturers will not be put at a competitive disadvantage. Agriculture has also been considered. The tax on farm diesel would start at 5 percent that of other fuels and phase in over 40 years, giving our farming industry ample time to adapt to these changes. The tax may even prove to be a boon for Skagit Valley farms, with our lower transportation costs to market compared with other agricultural areas.

The Yes on 732 organization has lots more information to answer any questions you may have.

Vote Yes on I-732, the carbon tax initiative. It's effective, fair, revenue neutral.

Scott Rhodes

Clear Lake

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