> A lot of the biggest problems with excessive N
> applications exist in high value crops where the
> cost of the fertilizer is quite low compared to the
> value of the product. So a 25 cent per pound tax might
> help reduce excessive use without creating hardship on
> the grower. But a 25 cent tax for a wheat grower with
> $3.00/bushel wheat would put folks out of business.
Well, that's both the beauty and the liability of tax-based incentives. If
it is THAT important to someone to use the stuff, then they CAN use it. The
rationale is that all the minute details of allocation are worked out by the
market. Suppose, for example, that artichokes require large amounts of N (I
don't know if they really do, but just suppose). A tax on nitrogen becomes
a tax on the environmental cost of producing artichokes. To true artichoke
lovers, beautiful artichokes are worth a lot of environmental degredation
> how do you create a tax system that takes this into
> consideration? Do you have different tax rates depending
> on the crop grown? Enforcement of such a system seems near
> impossible. Any ideas?
> Ernie Marx
> Dept. of Crop and Soil Science
> Crop Science Building 131
> Oregon State University
> Corvallis, OR 97331-3002
> WWW: http://www.css.orst.edu/cereals/
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Wilson, Dale [SMTP:WILSONDO@phibred.com]
> > Sent: Friday, November 06, 1998 11:03 AM
> > To: 'Heidi.A.Busse@Lawrence.edu'; sanet-mg
> > Subject: RE: consumption-based tax
> > Heidi,
> > Your friend said:
> > > "I would like to see this replace the income tax because
> > > I think that it would give people more control over
> > > their money, force people to evaluate and probably
> > > reduce the goods that they consume, and not penalize
> > > people for working, but reward environmentally-
> > > responsible consumers."
> > IMO, externalities (environmental costs) should be brought
> into the market
> > and one way to do that is to tax them. For example,
> throwing away beverage
> > containers is taxed in many states (deposit laws). States
> with deposit laws
> > are able to recycle a higher percentage of beverage
> containers and this has
> > a positive environmental benefit.
> > The political problem lies in how to set prices of the
> externalities (ie set
> > the tax rate). For example, everyone would probably agree
> that gasoline is
> > ridiculously inexpensive, and that current taxes are too
> low to restrict
> > consumption. But this is not the case in Europe.
> Apparently, the political
> > will to tax gasoline sufficiently to restrict its
> consumption does not exist
> > in the US. I wonder if the political will exists to tax nitrogen
> > fertilizer?
> > I'm not against income tax because there are other uses for
> money besides
> > purchasing goods and services. Failure to tax people who
> use money to make
> > money and gain power is not fair.
> > Dale
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