Do not tax Milwaukie twice for climate-change mitigation
My key point at last night's Historic Milwaukie Neighborhood Association candidate forum:
Milwaukie residents and businesses could end up paying twice for climate-change mitigation. The state of Oregon is moving towards a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions designed to radically reduce the state's carbon-dioxide emissions (including methane emissions). So, all Oregonians including those of us in Milwaukie are very likely to pay our fair share for climate change mitigation. Yet the current Milwaukie City Council is at the same time headed towards spending significant city monies on climate-change staffing and consulting. This while people go with bad neighborhood roads for lack of funding, not to mention other basic services. Additionally, the City Council's Climate Action Plan seeks to tell residents how they will heat their homes and fuel their cars. It also seeks to tell Milwaukie businesses how to heat, fuel, process energy, build and remodel. In essence, the City Council may tax Milwaukie residents and businesses (with a new layer of regulation and forgone public services) on top of a state tax designed to accomplish the same level of climate-change mitigation.
It doesn't have to be this way. Milwaukie should instead be looking to get back some of the state tax revenues imposed on carbon dioxide (if indeed the state tax happens this next year as planned). Milwaukie may be able to offer up climate-friendly programs such as urban tree planting, which might be designed to earn a share of the state's new carbon revenues or carbon offset markets. Milwaukie might also offer up a foot/bicycle bridge project like over Highway 224 from central Milwaukie into down town to gain a share of the state's planned carbon-dioxide revenues or offset market.
Elvis Clark is a candidate for Milwaukie City Council, position 2.