BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Some Massachusetts lawmakers want to pass a legislation that would tax carbon at $5 per metric ton.
Wayland State Rep. Tom Conroy and Lexington State Sen. Michael Barrett, both democrats, back the legislation that would boost taxes on gasoline by about 3.5 cents per gallon, with the final amount to be determined by the Department of Revenue.
The bill would also add new taxes on people who use heating oil and firewood, though the lawmakers say much of collected tax revenue under their proposal would be given back to taxpayers through a proposed doubling of the personal income tax exemption and other measures.
"It's a huge win for the environment if we were to pass this," Conroy told the State House News Service. "Mike and I are very flexible about amending this bill. We sort of tossed it out there as a template."
11 lawmakers have signed on as supporters of the bill. The bill allows for the Department of Revenue to calculate how the $5 per metric ton tax would be applied on items such as gasoline and heating fuel.
According to the bill sponsors, no state taxes carbon, though Oregon and Washington are studying the issue, and British Columbia, in Canada, has a carbon tax program.
Barrett admitted that he "didn't expect any of this to pass the first go-around."