Green taxes: Refunding rules and lobbying
Green taxes can internalize environmental externalities and raise revenues. We develop a positive theory that treats both of these aspects as endogenous outcomes of special-interest and electoral politics. We consider the choice among three (endogenous) refunding rules: income tax cuts, extra public spending and tax burden compensation to polluters. We show that a polluter lobby group may lobby for the ecotax revenue to be refunded to voters rather than to its members. The reason is that the "price" that the lobby group must pay for a reduction in the green tax can be reduced by supporting a refunding rule that pleases voters. Our analysis provides insights into recent green tax reforms in Europe.
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