Taxes and Cost Benefit analysis

Readings

See Attached PDF & Cost Benefit analysis Video

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Review the following You Tube videos:

On taxes:
1) What is the difference between a progressive tax and a regressive tax? And how is a proportional (or flat tax) different?

2) Suppose you are supposed to design at tax to raise money to support investments in renewable energy. Do you think it would be better to design the tax as a progressive tax? a regressive tax? or a proportional tax? Justify your answer in at least one (or two) full paragraph.

3) In section 2.3 of Ch. 11 (pp. 249-250), the Goodwin text talks about Federal Social Insurance Taxes (or FICA taxes) which include the Social Security tax and the Medicare tax. Can you explain specifically what it is that makes the Social Security tax ultimately a regressive tax?

On Cost/Benefit Analysis (length one page):

4) Suppose the following: The South Bronx is one of the three areas of the City with waste transfer facilities. Trucks bring waste to the facilities to be repackaged and sent by rail and boat to other states. The steady stream of trucks driving through the area creates poor air quality and higher rates of asthma as well as noise. The area has higher rates of hospitalizations for asthma-related illness than most neighborhoods in the City. Residents, as well as property owners (of apartment buildings and single-family homes) feel the poor air quality reduces their quality of life and their property values.

Suppose the City is considering a proposal to build a new, more efficient waste transfer station in Red Hook which will reduce the number of truck trips in the South Bronx by three-quarters (or 75 percent). It is expected to improve air quality and reduce asthma-related hospitalizations in the South Bronx by one half. The new waste transfer station will take two years to build and the reductions in asthma-related hospitalizations are expected to begin one year after that.

One of the first steps in conducting a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is to identify the costs and benefits of the project and consider how they can be measured in monetary terms. Based on the readings, identify and discuss what you think should be included in the costs of the project (and why) and what should be included in the benefits of the project (and why). For each cost or benefit, discuss how you would measure it in $$.

Where it may be relevant, draw on the discussion in the Goodwin text, in Chapter 12, on “nonmarket valuation methodologies” (section 2.2)

Also, would you need to use “discounting” (as discussed in section 2.3 of Chapter 12) to arrive at a cost/benefit calculation? Explain how this would work.

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