Mayor Bloomberg's proposed 5-cent fee on every plastic bag used by shoppers would help reduce waste and raise an estimated $100 million to help the city's budget crisis, but it will probably never see the light of day now that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn opposes it. Quinn is also blocking a move to reimpose the city sales tax on clothing and shoes under $110, which would raise an estimated $394 million a year, and instead she wants to increase the city's sales tax from 4% to 4.5%.
Though the Speaker hasn't commented publicly, sources tell the Staten Island Advance the proposals were omitted during budget negotiations yesterday. Regarding the nickel bag fee, one anonymous councilman tells the Daily News, "It's just another tax on working people."
Nobody wants taxes, but nobody wants the city—which is facing multi-billion dollar budget deficits in coming years, based on city projections—to cut services either. In some Western European countries, shoppers do this freaky thing where they bring their own bags to the store! In New York, large retailers are now required to accept plastic bags back for recycling, but wouldn't it be a lot easier if they didn't give them out in the first place?