From the DC GOP with some minor editing (snipping) from me:
Washington, DC: Environmentally responsible dog owners in the District are urging the DC Council to reject the proposed tax on paper and plastic bags imposed under a bill introduced by Councilmember Tommy Wells as the “Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009.”
“We all want a clean city, and plastic bags are an essential tool for keeping it clean,” stated DC Republican Committee Chairman Robert J. Kabel. “But this bill is just a new tax that will punish pet owners who clean up after their pets, Bo Obama would not be happy with this piece of legislation.” Kabel owns a dachshund and, like most pet owners, carries plastic bags to clean up after him on their daily walks.
“This proposal will force us to purchase more costly plastic bags, rather than do what environmentalist have taught us to do: reduce and reuse!” says a petition signed, so far, by more than 100 residents and dog owners in the District.
Under Wells’ legislation, a five-cent tax would be imposed on all paper and plastic bags received at restaurants, grocery stores and retailers that sell food, such as CVS/pharmacy. Wells’ bill claims the revenue will clean the Anacostia River, after purchasing tens of thousands of reusable bags for low-income residents and conducting a consumer education campaign.
“Not only does this tax not make sense, but also it ignores the reality that 94 percent of Americans reuse their plastic shopping bags,” says Kabel. “If we tax shopping bags, what will be next? Tires, Starbucks coffee cups, ketchup packets and even old reusable bags are just some of the other things you can find in the Anacostia River and its surroundings.”
The DC Republican Committee offered testimony to Wells’ Committee hearing and offered a more comprehensive solution. The first part is to take part of the District’s budget, which has skyrocketed 42 percent since 2004, and fund the cleanup of the Anacostia River. The second is to promote recycling and work toward changing the human behavior problem of polluting.
“We should make efforts to change the hearts and minds of people so they pollute less,” concluded Kabel.
To sign the petition online, visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dcdogssaynobagtax/.