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Supporters of carbon tax initiative turn in signatures

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Supporters of a carbon tax have turned in tens of thousands of signatures in order to qualify the initiative.

Carbon Washington’s Lindsey Klemp says they delivered about 247,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office Thursday. She says they have collected thousands more and plan to submit those and others gathered later this year.

Initiative 732 would tax carbon dioxide emissions of fossil fuels sold or used in the state. It would add a $15 per metric ton tax starting in July 2017, rise to $25 a ton in the second year and gradually increase over time.

Revenues would be used to cut the state sales tax by a point, eliminate business taxes for manufacturers and provide a rebate to low-income families.

Supporters need 246,372 valid signatures by the end of the year to put the measure before the 2016 Legislature. If lawmakers don’t act, it would go on the 2016 ballot.