On June 1 1992, a small group of York residents got together and created the Pollution Tax Association. Why?
- To bring an awareness of the pollution caused by everyday economic activity within a market economy and to promote the control of pollution by the use of pollution taxes.
- To encourage individuals to voluntarily pay substitute pollution taxes to organisations which can compensate the polluted and fight for the control of pollution.
How will this be achieved?
- We believe a Carbon Tax is the tax which can make the best contribution to reducing CO2 emissions. It should be instituted by National and World authorities immediately. Realistically we know they won’t.
- While we are waiting … its up to individuals. We can begin by paying something towards the pollution we cause both to heighten our awareness of our polluting ways, and to raise revenue to find solutions to the problem and compensate the polluted.
How do we handle the finances?
Funding of the PTA will be by subscription from members. A provisional membership fee of £5 per year has been set to pay for postage, office services etc. This will be paid into a special bank account where the money will be held separately from the tax revenues. Pollution tax revenues will be strictly separate from PTA subscriptions.
We ask members to pay their pollution taxes into a second special bank account from which the revenues will be distributed to recognised charities and campaigning organisations. The provisional distribution will be as follows :
40% to Oxfam 40% to Save the Children 20% to Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth
This distribution was based on an estimate of the relative importance of immediate relief, future planning and campaigning. The choice between Greenpeace and FOE is left to individual tax-payers to specify because of their different styles of campaigning.
How do we assess the rate of taxation?
Provisional rates for the Carbon tax are set according to the following formula :-
- Petrol 5p per gallon
- Electricity Bills 5% by value
- Gas bills 5% by value
Members are asked to estimate their tax payments based on the previous year. A typical quarterly estimate would be :
- 100 gallons at 5p per gallon (*) £5.00
- £100 electric bill at 5% £5.00
- £100 gas bill at 5% £5.00
- Carbon Tax at provisional rates £15.00 per quarter
(*) This is the quarterly tax for a car with 30mpg consumption which travels 12,000 miles per year.
Yes, but is this really necesssary?
We cannot ignore the effects our lifestyle has on the global environment. People are dying on the margins of the Sahara, in Bangladesh, around the world, due to our excesses, due to global warming. Our excessive use of fossil fuels seems like throwing rubbish over the garden fence into our neighbours garden – except that the fence is many kilometres high and the rubbish kills. We don’t think our proposed rates of tax are enough to compensate, but it is a start.
After the failure of governments at the Rio Summit, individual action is needed. The time to act is now. We can be contacted at this address.
Pollution Tax Association
10th June 1992