The nonprofit fiscal watchdog Green Capitol has posted its annual recommendations for greening California’s state budget. As usual, it’s a model of sound economics in service of sustainability. It identifies ten concrete steps—ranging from revisions in who pays for certain forest-fire fighting services to how fish and game fees are collected—for safeguarding both the environment and Golden State taxpayers.
Here’s the crux paragraph:
Leading environmental groups, in consultation with a variety of experts have identified 10 proposals that
would help reform and improve the way environmental programs are funded, eliminate wasteful subsidies
and tax breaks, and provide disincentives for businesses and individuals to pollute. When put together, Green Watchdog proposals would save hundreds of millions of dollars a year in General Fund revenue, generate hundreds of millions in additional funding for air and water quality programs, and save taxpayers hundreds of millions more by eliminating environmentally harmful tax policies.
As often in such matters, the details get technical (read: boring, unless you’re a geek like me) pretty quickly. Tax codes, land-use plans, fee schedules, rate structures, impact statements, insurance rules, regulatory frameworks, strategic plans-most of the scaffolding on which our world is built is rather tedious. But the implications are enormous (see Sightline’s catalog of small-but-high-leverage changes for more examples). And Green Capitol’s report does a better job than many at leavening the material and spelling out its importance.