European Environment Agency: Shift Taxes Now
|July 22, 2014||Posted by Staff under Good Press|
A 2014 excerpt of Euractiv, Jly 18.
Hans Bruyninckx, the director of the European Environment Agency, has urged ministers to carry out fiscal reforms, such as moving tax from labour to activities that damage the environment.
“Well-designed environmental taxes can reduce pollution and increase resource efficiency in a very cost-effective way, and at the same time promote employment, economic growth and social fairness.”
The world does not have to choose between job creation and preserving the environment.
Bruyninckx added that environmental taxes were “still an under-used tool”. Environmental taxes currently account for 2.4% of EU GDP.
The informal ministerial comes after the European Commission published proposals earlier this month aimed at pushing the EU towards a ‘circular economy’, with higher recycling targets and a phase-out of landfill.
Ed. Notes: Shifting taxes from wages to pollution is one of three big green tax shifts. Another is to shift from purchases (e.g., VAT) to extraction of resources. The most powerful shift is the least obvious and well known: off buildings onto exclusive use of locations.
When owners pay land rent to their community rather than receive it from tenants or buyers, then they take no more land than they need and use that wisely. In urban areas, using land efficiently makes for compact towns that use fewer materials (the goal of the depletion tax) and less energy (the aim of the pollution tax).
Other powerful advantages of recovering rents is that doing so grows the tax base rather than shrinks it (since owners develop their lots), raising enough revenue to afford a dividend to citizens, merging everyone’s need for money with their love for Earth. Proposing land dues challenges society to see the worth of Earth as part of the commons. And shifting the property tax off buildings, onto land is something localities can do without waiting for states or nations or unions. So get busy geonomizing now.