Infoscience

Journal article

The public acceptance of green taxes

In September 2000, 4.7 million Swiss citizens were invited to vote on three proposals for taxes on fossil energy. They differed by tax rate and mode of revenue recycling. All three were rejected, one by only 3.4%. I analyze the votes using individual data of a postreferendum survey. Few voters paid attention to the fine differences between the proposals made. Those who did favored the smaller tax with revenues earmarked for a wide range of subsidies. The promise of a favorable direct impact on employment made by a mini green tax reform was not understood or valued. Citizens with leftist affinities and better education were more favorable.

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