Do Washingtonians dislike taxes more than they like the environment?
Washingtonians have a reputation as being green and concerned with the environment, but not necessarily when we head to the ballot box.
“When you poll people, 73 percent of Washingtonians think that climate change is a real problem and we ought to do something about it, and yet two times — 2016 and 2018 — we’ve turned down the carbon tax by double digits,” said KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney.
The concern for the environment seems to end in the ballot box where there aren’t trees and birds to guilt you. Despite exit polls showing climate change was a chief concern among voters, the carbon-tax was voted down by significant margins two years in row, reports The Seattle Times. Either we’re lying to the pollsters or we care about taxes more.
“As soon as there’s a bite to it and it’s going to cost us something, we say no. It turns out we’re less pro-green than we’re anti-tax,” Tom said.
I-1631 proposed to place a $15 fee per metric ton of carbon, increasing by $2 every year after that. The revenue was set to benefit environmental programs related to climate change.
According to the Times, voters have approved only two statewide tax increases in the past 20 years, including a cigarette tax in 2001 and a 6.5-cent gas tax in 2005.
“We will go against the taxes every which way from Sunday, which is why in a liberal state like we are, we keep turning down the income tax by 20 points each time too,” Tom said. “There’s a deep anti-tax sentiment despite our greenness.”
In the exit poll, 73 percent of voters said they are “very or somewhat concerned” about climate change. It turns out it’s more “somewhat” than “very”.