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An open letter to Senator Simcha Felder regarding the NYC "Bag Tax"

Senator Felder, I respect many things that you are working toward, and have signed petitions and voted through nysenate.gov on issues where you have called attention to them.

However, I do *not* support the effort to stop "the bag tax".  Plastic bags are harmful to the environment, unsightly as they pile up in our trees, stoops, railways, and fences, and are dangerous to wildlife and human children alike.

It's not hard to carry a single cloth bag or even to stuff a few plastic bags that you already have into a purse, backpack, or car pouch.  Dog owners do this all the time ... and will still be able to get plastic bags where they, like myself, want to support a pet.

I don't understand the argument that this will place an unfair burden on lower-income New Yorkers.  We are already paying the cost of these bags, but the cost is hidden in the city taxes we pay for cleanup and the visual degradation of Brooklyn.  This will give poorer residents an alternative to that cost.

Cities such as Seattle have gone beyond the step of a fee for bags to an outright ban on them, and have done well anyway.  I would argue that they have established a better baseline awareness of what it means for a community to live together in their place in the world, respecting each other and the land they own and share.  The tax, rather than a ban, will make people consider their bags, but also still make them available.

Please reconsider S7336, and let the "bag tax" happen.

--S

Further info:
Here's the NY City Council's Bag Tax bill itself, approved by the council and awaiting the Mayor's signature.
Here's my senator's bill against the "Bag Tax", where he's going over the city's head to the state senate - like the bathroom bill in NC did.
Here's a fairly balanced article, presenting arguments from both sides but slightly in favor.
Here are the main arguments against the Bag Tax.  I think most of these are blatant straw men that sit confusingly close to the real issues, as I don't argue any of them, nor have I heard them argued.
Here is a petition for the Bag Tax.

Comments

I know, isn't that wonderful? I'm always saying, "no bag. no bag." Twice, because the first instance is really just an interrupt signal; the second carries the information.