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The predictable bag fee backlash is underway.
As of Friday, it now costs five cents for most plastic grocery bags (exceptions listed here). One District man says he’s not going to take it—at least that’s what he recently wrote on a Columbia Heights listserv.
He’s vowing to drive to Maryland for his groceries, or only buy things in D.C. that he can carry in his own hands. Thus, if this man does follow through with his plans and continues to occasionally shop in D.C., he should be pretty easy to spot—-angry face, full arms. I can just imagine him now shouting “stupid hippies!!!” at the girl scouts handing out free reusable bags on New Year’s Day.
Here’s his message. Note the threat of quiet, mass rebellion in paragraph two:
I discovered something interesting this weekend while shopping at Target: I now will spend less resulting in less taxes collected by the city for my purchases. Why? I refuse to pay the 5 cent per bag tax. So I will only buy what I can carry in my own two hands. I usually spend hundreds of dollars a weekend at Target. Now I spend very little.
Fewer purchases = less sales tax generated = more money left in my bank account. And I am not alone.
I also now find it cheaper to drive my hybrid to the Safeway in Maryland to purchase groceries. I get 50+ MPG in my hybrid so an extra mile is nothing compared to 5 cents per bag. So Maryland will now get my sales tax money.
I also find myself ordering more things online now so that they can be delivered bag tax and sales tax free. The only problem is now I need to throw away all those boxes and packaging material. There is no tax on sticking it in my trash can.
So there you go City Council. Someone with a 6 figure salary has now made a lifestyle change because of the bag tax. Taxation without representation now done locally.
Here’s to all the Amazon boxes now clogging the rivers.
Image from the District Department of the Environment