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Carbon Tax Supporters Gather Signatures For Ballot Measure

Supporters of a carbon tax are gathering signatures from Washington voters for a possible ballot initiative.

Governor Jay Inslee has a bill on a cap-and-trade system already working its way through the legislature. But climate change activists are also laying the groundwork for the measure, which would add a tax of $25 dollars per ton of carbon dioxide.

It’s a back-up plan of sorts, in case lawmakers don’t pass Inslee’s measure

Estimates are that the ballot measure would eventually increase the cost of gas by about 25 cents a gallon, and cost an average household in Washington a few hundred more dollars per year.

The initiative becomes a non-issue if Inslee's plan gains legislative approval.

But if it goes forward, the ballot measure could appear before voters in the fall of 2016. And if voters say yes, the tax would take effect the summer of 2017.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat for KNKX, where she has worked since 1999. From 2000-2012, she covered the business and labor beat. Bellamy has a deep interest in Indigenous affairs and the Salish Sea. She has a masters in journalism from Columbia University.
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