NYC Plans 10-Cent Bag Tax

NEW YORK -

Legislation is expected to be introduced in the City Council Wed. to require stores to charge 10 cents for every paper or plastic bag customers use to take home groceries.

The bill already has the support of 19 councilmen, seven less than the majority needed to pass it. A similar proposal last year died after not enough lawmakers supported it. But this time, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is reviewing the legislation.

“New Yorkers use 1 billion disposable, single-use plastic bags every year,” said Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), a prime sponsor of the progressive bill. “It costs the city a lot of money, winds up in trees, clogs up storm drains, and messes up the recycling plants.”

But critics decried it as a tax in disguise.

Calling the plan “absurd” that “reared its ugly head” again, state Sen. Simcha Felder denounced it.

“This is nothing more than a tax disguised as an eco-friendly initiative,” Felder said. “If 19 members of the City Council are looking to raise money on the backs of hard-working and struggling New Yorkers, let them have the courage to say so instead of hiding behind poorly-veiled environmental excuses.”