Leaders of the tax protest movement turned in more than a thousand signatures on three initiative petitions to the Salt Lake County Clerk's office just before the 5 p.m. deadline Monday.

Merrill Cook, independent candidate for governor, was one of the last to sign the petitions. They call for a limit on property taxes, tax rollbacks and a tax credit for parents of children in private schools.The clerk's office will have until July 5 to determine whether the Tax Limitation Coalition gathered the 63,000 valid signatures of registered voters needed to qualify the initiatives for the November ballot.

Greg Beesley, coalition chairman, said between 95,000 and 100,000 signatures were gathered, including about 45,000 in Salt Lake County alone. Most were turned into the clerk's office last Friday.

"The push now will be to fight off the `Big Guns,' " Beesley said, referring to Taxpayers For Utah, chaired by four prominent Utah politicians including former two governors, Scott M. Matheson and Calvin L. Rampton.

Cook used the opportunity to note that both of his opponents in the governor's race, Democrat Ted Wilson and incumbent Republican Norm Bangerter have signed a pledge urging voters to reject the initiatives.