The Public Acceptance of Green Taxes: 2 Million Voters Express Their Opinion
40 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2011
Date Written: February 15, 2003
In September 2000, 4.7 million Swiss citizens were invited to vote on three proposals for taxes on fossil energy. They differed by tax rate and mode of revenue recycling. All three were rejected, one by only 3.4%. I analyze the votes using individual data of a post-referendum survey. Few voters paid attention to the fine differences between the proposals made. Those who did favored the smaller tax with revenues earmarked for a wide range of subsidies. The promise of a favorable direct impact on employment made by a mini green tax reform was not understood or valued. Citizens with leftist affinities and better education were more favorable.
Keywords: green tax reform, ecological tax, direct democracy, referendum, energy tax, switzerland
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