AGC opposes carbon-tax plan

AGC’s Board of Trustees voted to oppose Initiative 1631, which would enact a new carbon tax. Proponents are currently gathering signatures in hopes of getting the measure on the November ballot.

The carbon tax would be implemented at $15 per ton in 2020 and increase by $2 every year beginning in 2021, plus inflation, getting as high as $55 per ton by 2035. It would initially raise an estimated $800 million per year. 

As a result of the tax, the price of gas would initially increase by 15 cents per gallon and would go up more as the tax goes up. 

In addition to its concerns about the initiative’s effect on gas prices, AGC is concerned that I-1631 would create an entirely new form of governance whereby special tax and fund processes run alongside existing government programs and agencies with little-to-no legislative oversight. The tax and fund processes are instead controlled by a new regulatory body comprised of non-government organization (NGO) appointees, tribal governments, labor unions and existing agency directors—business is afforded very little representation on the oversight committees. Sponsors of the initiative may be direct overseers and beneficiaries of the revenue.

Also, decisions about spending the new revenue would be made with several “overlay criteria” requirements, including the existence of “community workforce agreements.” The phrase community workforce agreement, a synonym for project labor agreements (PLAs), would be imbedded for the first time in state statues. AGC opposes government-mandated and government-negotiated PLAs, as they disadvantage open-shop and many small DBE firms from participating in projects hat their taxes help to fund.

Click here to read Initiative 1631.

For more information, contact AGC Chief Lobbyist Jerry VanderWood, 360.352.5000.