February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 6, NUMBER 7-8, JULY-AUGUST 1993
Taxation and the
Environment: Complementary Policies, 116 pp., June 1993, $22/£15/F90/DM39.
OECD Pubs., 2001 L St. NW, S-700, Washington DC 20036 (202-785-6323); or OECD,
2, rue André-Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France (tel:
33-1-45-24-82-00); or other OECD outlets.
A tax-based approach to environmental issues can take two forms: new taxes
or modification of certain existing (e.g., energy) taxes. This study, by the
OECD Joint Task Force on Tax and Environment, examines both options and the
general question of how tax and environmental policies can be made not only
compatible but also mutually reinforcing. Drawing on detailed studies of OECD
countries, it suggests a set of simple rules for the introduction of
environmental taxes, aimed at reducing undesirable social impacts and making the
taxes more politically acceptable. Identifies options for more effective use of
tax-based policies, in terms of implementation strategies and international
The Choice Between
Energy and Other Taxes: Traditional Concerns and Environmental Considerations,
L.H. Goulder (Economics Dept. Stanford Univ.), June 1993 draft. Contact Ctr. for
Policy Res., Amer. Council for Capital Formation, 1750 K St. NW, S. 400,
Washington DC 20006 (202-293-5811).
On narrow economic terms, an energy tax would be twice as costly to the
economy, but would yield substantially higher environmental benefits than
personal income or value-added taxes. The energy tax proposed by President
Clinton would cut CO2 emissions 7-8% below baseline 1998
levels-roughly five times the reduction predicted by the Administration. (The
report and its approach are discussed extensively in Energy, Econ. &
Clim. Change, pp. 14-15, June 1993.)
The Economic Effects
of the Proposed CO2/Energy Tax, CEC Directorate-General for
Econ. & Financial Affairs, 111 pp., Mar. 1993. Constitutes Supplement A (No.
3, Mar. 1993) to European Economy; contact Off. Official Pubs. of the
EC, Commission of the European Communities, L-2985 Luxembourg.
Incorporates more extensive analyses that have recently appeared in recent
EC publications, but also includes a direct comparison of effects of the
proposed EC tax with the broad-based energy tax proposed by President Clinton
for the U.S.
Protection: Implications of Using Pollution Taxes to Supplement Regulation
(GAO/RCED-93-13), 54 pp., Feb 1993, no charge. U.S. Gen. Accounting Off., POB
6015, Gaithersburg MD 20877 (202-275-6241).
Pollution taxes must be carefully designed and implemented if they are to
deliver the intended environmental and economic benefits. An effective
monitoring system would be needed to ensure that the tax was reducing pollution,
and that taxing one pollutant does not lead to the increase of others. An
effective tax rate is not always known, so taxes could be gradually introduced
and results monitored.
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