Arcata, CA Resolution Supporting the "Tobin Tax"
Status: Adopted on 10/6/99
Resolution Supporting the Tobin Tax
WHEREAS, over $1.5 trillion moves daily through currency exchange markets around the world, and over 85% of those transactions are of a speculative nature, where traders bet on whether currency values and interest rates will move up or down; and
WHEREAS, such volume and volatility disrupts the ability of nations to establish equitable and just economic policies; to intervene to protect their own currencies; and to provide support for needed social and environmental programs; and
WHEREAS, recent financial crisis and currency devaluations tend to exacerbate existing problems such as price increases, higher unemployment, plant closures, social unrest and human rights violations; and to burden indigenous, poor and middle-income populations most heavily; and
WHEREAS, excessive speculation could be curbed by a very small tax of between 0.1% and 0.25% on each cross-border currency transaction (as proposed by Nobel prize-winning economist James Tobin--"Tobin Tax"); and such a tax would reduce incentives for overnight speculation while remaining small enough to leave longer-term investments intact; and
WHEREAS, the revenues from a Tobin Tax, projected at between $150 and $300 billion a year, would provide the resources urgently needed to wipe out extreme poverty, provide basic social services and mitigate environmental destruction globally; and collection, enforcement and allocation aspects are considered to be economically feasible.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED that the City Council of the City of Arcata urges governments around the world to immediately cooperate to establish Tobin-style taxes on foreign currency exchange market transactions, collected and distributed in a fully transparent and accountable manner, with the revenue dedicated to basic and urgent human and environmental needs and to ecologically sustainable jobs within less-developed countries.