Green Fiasco: 92% Of Swiss Voters Reject Carbon Tax In Referendum

  • Date: 08/03/15
  • Neil Maclucas, The Wall Street Journal;

Swiss voters Sunday overwhelmingly rejected an initiative that would have scrapped the Alpine country’s value-added-tax system and replaced it with a carbon tax, a move that would have made gasoline, heating oil and other forms of power more expensive for consumers.

Roughly 92% of voters opposed the initiative, known as “Energy Rather than VAT,” while 8% supported the measure, according to preliminary results from 13 of the country’s 26 cantons.

The initiative would have encouraged Swiss households to use renewable energy sources, including solar and wind, which would have been exempt from taxes. The initiative, which was introduced by the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland, was designed to help lower carbon emissions and reduce global warming.

The Swiss cabinet had recommended voters reject the proposal because it would likely have caused a falloff in revenue for the federal government. The current VAT tax, which ranges from 2.5% to 8%, generated income of 22.6 billion Swiss francs ($22.92 billion) for the federal government in 2013, according to government data.

The initiative was backed by the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland and supported by the Green Party of Switzerland, the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace Switzerland.

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