The Washington Post reports that the Anacostia bag tax has netted the District $2 million since its enactment in January 2010:
The city’s 5-cent tax on bags began last January, but consumers spent much less pocket change than predicted to pay for bags from grocery, liquor and convenience stores. City officials had guessed the fee would raise $3.5 million to clean up the city’s Anacostia River before the end of 2010, but it has raised a little more than half that.
Remember all the strife that came with the bag tax early last year? All the confusion? All the sturm und drang? It seems like, regardless of all of the above, many of you have been dutifully toting around those reusable grocery bags for the past twelve months! The tax apparently led to a dramatic reduction in the number of bags used in the District; DCist calculated that about 40 million disposable bags were used in the city in 2010, compared to 22.5 million each month before the tax.
That—not net revenue—seems to be the point. Brent Bolin of the Anacostia Watershed Society, one of the organizations that rallied behind the creation of the tax, tweeted “Misses the point that less revenue = less bags sold = less trash!” in response to the Post.
Photo by velrk0 via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license