Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) is proposing legislation to protect residents and small businesses from taxes or fees on the use of plastic bags. Senator Felder’s legislation would prevent New York City from collecting a tax from retailers or their customers whenever plastic bags are used for purchases.
“New York families do not need another regressive tax,” said Senator Felder. “Going back to my days on the NY City Council, I’ve been disheartened every time I’ve heard the absurd plastic bag tax legislation introduced. Nickel and diming people—asking them to pay for paper and plastic bags at retail and grocery stores—places an undue financial burden on countless New Yorkers who are already struggling.
“This is neither the first nor will it be the last time that the city is trying to raise taxes under the guise of being eco-friendly. But there are plenty of eco-friendly initiatives that can be introduced without burdening families and small businesses.”
While taxation authority in New York is vested exclusively in the state, local municipalities have attempted to circumvent this by enacting fees on customers (collected by retailers). These methods encourage regressive policies that punish low-income families, senior citizens, and other vulnerable New Yorkers.
“The last thing we want is to make New York even less affordable,” said Senator Felder. “Federal cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have already resulted in greater food insecurity across the state. We need to ensure that policies enacted by local municipalities do not make things worse.”