In case you don't follow Olympia and politics, you might want to start now.  Last week the Washington State Senate's Energy, Environment and Technology committee approved it's own version of a carbon (pollution) tax, somewhat similar to the one Gov. Jay Inslee has wanted since his first day in office.

In layman's terms, you and I are going to be taxed for allegedly polluting. We won't put you in a coma with all the 'tons of carbon metric emissions' gibberish. But the cost to families will be large.

IF the tax is voted on and passed by the legislature (and there's a significant chance it will) here's where it will hit you.  The Washington Policy Center's Todd Meyers has put together an excellent article about the matter.

In 2019, the tax would raise household heating bills by about $170 a year. The WPC used household energy data from Seattle and Spokane, we're using the Spokane 170 figure because they're much closer to us, and their climate at least similar. By the year 2029, when the full brunt of the incremented tax is felt, that figure will climb to over $530 a year.

At the pump, the average 2-driver family would spend about $125 more annually on gas starting in 2019, by 2029 that figure would climb to $375.

And finally electric bills. Now many of us heat our homes with electricity, it would go up about $10 a month in 2019 to around $31 in 2029. That's because we rely heavily on hydroelectric, and it has perhaps the lowest carbon emission 'footprint of any energy source-in the eyes of the enviros. That's why it has the lowest increase.

It's interesting to note that if this bill goes into law, most of industry (manufacturing) in our state is exempted from the tax. Legislators apparently have realized that penalizing industry (on top of the some of the worst Business and Occupation taxes in the U.S.) would cause them to leave the state.

Industry and businesses can leave, but most citizens and families can't or won't. That means the burden of the pollution tax would fall on you and I.

This bill still has to be refined and clear another hurdle before going to the Senate floor for a vote, but given the political party changes in Olympia (the Senate now has a 1-vote Democratic majority) it stands a better chance of passing than any time in the last ten years. The Democrat controlled House is considered a shoe-in for passage as well.


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