We should tax things we don't like as much as we can.
We don't like pollution. It kills people.
So I was glad to hear the some members of the Cook County Board, while trying to figure out how to balance the budget without raising the property tax, have come up with a neat idea: tax pollution.
They would focus on the two power plants in Cook County that, under current plans, will continue to spew out pollution for another decade or so.
And they would tax each ton of pollution emitted.
Here is a Chicago Public Radio report on the proposal, introduced by Commissioner Roberto Maldonado. The Commissioner's website has a Daily Southtown article that includes reference to a $400 per ton of sulfur dioxide tax.
This would be a good thing. Cook County residents largely pay the cost from air pollution generated in Cook County, especially when poor people go to Cook County hospital for their asthma treatment, or when they die from cancer caused by air pollution (and we pay the cost of the coroner), so it seems right to tax the pollution that imposes these costs on us.