Today, Americans for Tax Reform joined a coalition of nearly 20 stakeholder organizations in sending an open letter expressing opposition to the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI). The TCI is a regional cap-and-trade scheme, the details of which were released today, that will drive up energy costs for motorists and have the same overall effect as a carbon or gas tax hike in the 12 northeastern and mid-Atlantic states that are party to the initiative. 

The participating states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

“Gas taxes are regressive in nature. The TCI will hurt lower-income and rural residents much more significantly than their higher-income, urban peers,” states the open coalition letter sent in opposition to TCI today. “Since motor fuels are economically ‘inelastic,’ the higher costs imposed by the TCI’s fuel tax will have to come out of other areas of household budgets. People already struggling to make ends meet will be forced by their own governments to make painfully difficult choices. Economically speaking, this is bad policy. Morally speaking, it’s just cruel.”

Americans for Tax Reform will be urging lawmakers and governors in TCI states to reject the proposed cap and trade scheme during their 2020 legislative sessions, and will be educating the public as to how TCI would do the greatest harm to taxpayers who are least able to afford the added cost. Worse, all of that economic pain would come with effectively no environmental gain. 

To read the coalition letter in its entirety, click here.