After City Council approved a bill that would place a tax on single-use paper bags, Councilman Robert Holden is calling the move burdensome on the middle class.
Set to take place after a state-wide ban on plastic bags takes effect, the paper bag tax would put the cost of five cents on each paper bag used in a transaction at store across the city.
“As if it wasn’t enough that we are taxed to death in every facet of our lives, the New York City Council has just passed another regressive tax,” Holden said. “While ensuring our environment is clean for generations to come, a line must be drawn somewhere. I voted NO because this legislation will only add more pressure on our senior citizens who already live on a fixed income, and will once again put the burden on the middle class.”
The plastic bag ban was passed in the budget at the beginning of April making New York the third state in the nation to take a stand against the bags which are not biodegradable and land a heavy impact on wildlife.
California imposed its ban in 2016 and Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the ban a year ago place emphasis on an earlier time when shopper only had paper bags to turn to.
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order on April 11 intended to be the beginning of the end for reusable plastics and said while even paper products should be reduced, there needs to be option for low-income New Yorkers.
“We are looking at a whole host of questions around reusable products,” de Blasio said. “This is something I’ve talked about in terms of getting rid of plastic bags and paper bags that we’ve got to come up with some kind of option for folks of limited means. And we’re looking at everything. We’ll be looking at plastic bottles. You’re going to see a number of things coming out.”