PROPERTY TAX REFORM to MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE

To: Hon. Rochelle Squires, Manitoba Minister of Sustainable Development
To: Hon, Cameron Friesen, Manitoba Minister of Finance
To: Hon. Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture
Copy to: Keystone Agricultural Producers

OBJECTIVES:

To slow climate change, via reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide via photosynthetic sequestration of carbon into deep soil via plant roots, and

To create a fair "user-pay" taxation regime for public water drainage infrastructure works.

PRINCIPLE MECHANISMS:

Separate all public water drainage infrastructure costs, such as the costs for ditches, culverts, bridges, including for major works such as the new outlet from Lake Manitoba and flood fight emergencies, away from the general government accounts, and instead separately fund such expenses entirely from those lands which are not functioning maximally to mitigate these costs.

General property taxes and other taxes would thus be reduced by this amount.

Lands growing perennial vegetation or retaining water in living ponds would be zero-rated for this drainage infrastructure, flood and GHG tax, because those lands function to remove and store atmospheric carbon dioxide and excess precipitation the same as prior to industrialization.

Lands growing no living plants to both capture solar radiation and remove carbon dioxide via photosynthesis, such as building roofs, bare saline soils and road surfaces, whether privately or publicly owned, would all be assessed for water drainage infrastructure costs at maximum rate.

Annual cropped lands would initially be assessed at a medium assessment between that of lands with perennial living plants and that of lands with none. Aerial photographic measurement of relative duration of vegetation growth throughout each year can be employed to automatically calculate fair assessments for every square meter relative to lands with living perennial vegetation.

A surcharge would also be assessed for sites which yield greater greenhouse gases for activities which produced less in the preindustrial age, such as coal burners, and modern anaerobic manure lagoons producing unnatural methane, as calculated to achieve equivalency of tax assessment per unit of total greenhouse gas impact relative to lands covered with living perennial vegetation.

SUMMARY:

Living perennial vegetation and water retention are incentivized by reducing property tax.

By: Grant Rigby, farmer. First draft, Nov 20, 2017 More climate policy: grantrigby.ca




Greenhouse Gas Import Tariffs, No GHG Zones, Perennial Roots

November 2015   Sent to:
Government of Canada c/o Catherine McKenna, Chrystia Freeland, S. Dion, K. Lamoureux;
Parliament c/o Larry Maguire, Elizabeth May;
Government of Manitoba c/o Premier, Min Conservation, Min Industry C.Cullen.;
Government of Ontario c/o Min Environ Glen Murray.
Copy: info@climateforum; info@electricity; info@iisd; sdalby@wlu; editors@opencanada.

Proposed Resolutions for Adoption at Paris' Climate Change Meeting:

1. GreenHouse Gas Import Tariffs -to Fund UN Climate Disaster Assistance

"BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

Every country may use import tariffs, to entice its consumers to make GHG-responsible purchase decisions, via enacting selective import tariffs, to achieve greenhouse gas attribution equivalency with its own domestic industries' GHG:

- Tariffs based on UN data for GHG and Pollutants created during manufacturing/shipping;

- All funds raised via GHGP import tariffs are to be pledged to UN Climate Disaster Assistance Fund;

- GHGP import tariffs can be assessed per specific country, per specific industry in it, or per specific manufacturer providing that equivalent GHGP limitations are required of domestic manufacturers;

- GHGP import tariffs are to have precedence ranking above all other trade agreements."

For example: if 1.0 tonne of GHG is created in the domestic manufacture of a widget, yet 1.2 tonnes GHG is created in its manufacture in a specific foreign country, then an import tariff of up to 20% of its price could be lawfully assessed, even among signatories to "free-trade agreements".

This resolution would accelerate adoption of lower greenhouse gas production processes in the global economy, as manufacturers would seek to lower their own GHG and validate their low GHG, and encourage their home countries to lower national GHG, to avoid potential GHG tariffs into foreign markets.

For example, Canada might have unilaterally enacted fair GHG tariffs on imports from China's coal-fired economy several years ago, to have encouraged China's more rapid clean-up.

Principle of "Polluter Pays for Damages": greater tariffs against worst GHG emitters; the fund pays for GHG damages.

It should be relatively easy to achieve wide consensus for this resolution, because it empowers governments to act, voluntarily, and incentivizes industry without direct costs to governments.

If the world succeeds in averting climate disasters, governments retain the GHG tariffs collected.

2. Low-GHG-Intensity-Low-Pollution Certification

- Via the United Nations, establish voluntary certification programs to validate and rate the intensity of greenhouse gas and other pollutants emissions.

- A manufacturer, or an industry, or an industrial zone, might choose to participate as a challenge for itself, but also to differentiate itself to achieve higher products value via certification (similar to Certified Organic), and also to ensure low tariff access to foreign markets that may implement GHG import tariffs.

3. Negligible-GreenHouse-Gas Residential Zones

- Canadian Provinces to allow communities to democratically self-designate as No-GHG-Zones:

- A new residential development, for example, would prohibit all fossil fuel burning engines, and might first install solar panels and wind turbines to generate electricity for implements and tools for construction, and henceforth only geo-thermal and non-GHG energy for heat, power and transport.

- These would become the most desirable, clean air, quiet communities to live in, and that prestige would incentivize industries to serve them with new transportation and other products. Given that the automobile fleet is disposed within several years, it is conceivable that product innovation and competition could enable all residential communities to achieve NGHGZ for household power and personal transportation within 15 years.

4. Carbon Sequestering requires Perennial Living Roots

- Into farmlands currently used for annual cropping, adaptation of agronomy to reintroduce continuous perennial root life into the deep subsoil would be expected to sequester carbon, and thus valid for carbon capture incentives.

- Whereas merely reducing surface tillage while maintaining dead fallow processes in the subsoil ("zero-tillage farming") likely does not sequester carbon, and observation indicates it indeed leads to salinity occurring in formerly productive low areas and decline of plant growth and loss of food production.

- (explanation is within my soil salinity hypotheses essay at: www.rigbyorchards.com)



Grant Rigby, M.Sc.


Rigby Orchards estate winery and family homestead organic grain farm.

Killarney, Manitoba