We Need Clean Company Tax Benefits for Personal Manufacturing

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Adrian Bowyer:

“One of the potential advantages of home fabbing is the massive reduction in goods transport that would be consequent on people's making lots of stuff for themselves, with all the greenhouse gas savings that that implies. Well, for energy itself we now have feed-in tariff laws, which oblige utilities to pay a fixed price for home-generated green electricity. This costs government nothing, as the utilities pass the charges on to their other customers. Dirty energy users are paying a premium, which is then used to reward clean generators. By analogy, one can imagine changes in, say, sales tax laws that would increase the cost of finished goods, but reduce that of raw materials used by personal fabricators. This would be revenue-neutral for government, but would encourage the use of the technology with consequent transport savings.”

Hod Lipson & Melba Kurman:

"Companies that use personal manufacturing technologies deserve competitive advantage for their eco-friendliness. Personal manufacturing keeps production regional, but also is less polluting than traditional mass manufacturing methods. Personal-scale manufacturing technologies offer a more precise form of manufacturing that leaves less toxic waste and manufacturing scrap by product. As a result, personal fabrication technologies provide a natural vehicle with which to experiment with local, recycled, or novel materials. More research is needed to pinpoint the optimal criteria for “clean company” tax advantages.

Examples of possible criteria would be to offer advantages to manufacturing companies that:

  • Use a certain percentage of raw material from their local region
  • Use a certain percentage of raw manufacturing materials are of re-used waste materials
  • Produce few than a certain number of tons of waste per year
  • Emit a certain amount of exhaust into the air or nearby groundwater."