The fate of an initiative to introduce a carbon tax in Washington state will be put to voters this November after lawmakers failed to advance the proposal in the latest special legislative session.
Initiative 732, which would impose a $25 tax per metric tonne of CO2 from fossil fuels and offset the impact on consumers with a one percentage point reduction in the state’s sales tax, was sent to lawmakers in December after the measure garnered over 350,000 signatures from backers.
The levy also aims to drastically reduce business tax for manufacturers while providing rebates for households.
But the state’s legislative session was adjourned late Tuesday without making progress on the bill, thereby sending the issue to the ballot box. If passed there, it would represent the country’s first statewide carbon tax.
Washington’s government earlier this year tabled a competing measure to introduce a cap-and-trade scheme, but last month withdrew its proposed rules, saying it would resubmit an updated version once it finishes collecting feedback from stakeholders.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org