Is it a fee or tax? California’s cap-and-trade faces tough questions

Morning StarBy Adam Ashton, Sacramento Bee | California’s marquee climate-change program faced tough scrutiny on Tuesday from a state appeals court judge who seemed skeptical that the $4.4 billion raised from the state’s cap-and-trade program complied with laws regulating taxes and fees.

“Where does this end?” Associate Justice Harry Hull asked state lawyers at a hearing in a long-running lawsuit that challenges the state’s ability to collect revenue from the cap-and-trade auctions it has sponsored since 2012.

The court case combines separate lawsuits filed by the California Chamber of Commerce and Woodland-based tomato processor Morning Star.

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