My blogging activity has recently come to a standstill because of a myriad of work-related commitments. I am attending the Australia’s Future Tax and Transfer Policy Conference that has been organised by The Treasury over the next couple of days at the Melbourne Business School. The papers to be presented are uniformly excellent – I have even thought vaguely of trying to structure an advanced level unit at my university around them. It would be informative and fun.
The paper by Professor Alan Auerbach on tax theory I found particularly valuable. Worth reading along with the earlier piece I referred to by Professor Mankiw. Both are great papers if you (like me) want the ‘meat’ without the mathematics.
I have been given the task of commenting on an excellent paper by John Freebairn on ‘environmental taxes’ . I’ll post my comments on it eventually.
By about Saturday I might think again about some more ‘recreational’ blogging.
Update: My comments on John Freebairn’s paper are here. My points were that across the OECD environmental taxes were negligible – the 2-5% of GDP ‘environmental’ taxes observed were mainly fuel excises and vehicle registration charges which targeted the environment very imperfectly and should not be vregarded as kosher environmental taxes. These taxes should ideally be replaced or supplemented (if revenues were still sought) by user charges on roads which would provide a decent tax base that vould also be used to restructure road supply decisions. So too could the revenues from sales of permits to a comprehensive emmissions trading scheme which has a tax base between 300-576 million tons of Co2 equivalent and which under government plans might only be cut 5% by 2020. A sustainable tax base.