In November 2016, Washington State voters were presented with a ballot initiative (Initiative 732) advancing the first carbon tax on production and use of fossil fuels in the United States. Initiative 732 promised to reduce fossil fuel consumption by taxing carbon emissions, while remaining revenue-neutral by lowering taxes on businesses, consumers, and working families. In promising revenue-neutrality, Initiative 732 sought support beyond environmentalists and similarly sympathetic voters. It failed to pass, achieving 41.2 percent of votes cast.
This paper analyzes zip code-level voting patterns and demographic data to assess the economics and politics of carbon taxes and regulations based on this initiative.