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Bag Tax Is Last Thing We Need



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Dear Editor:

Your editorial about Albany attempting to prevent the upcoming nickel tax on our still free shopping bags is misleading.

To begin with, Councilman Brad Lander is no progressive.

This fee should be rightfully named the “Lander Nickel Fee Shopping Bag Tax” as Lander has become the instigator for what is really a “regressive tax” – this affects the middle and lower class people of this city more than the upper class, which by the way includes Councilman Lander. A true progressive would never vote for any regressive tax or fees.

Lander is quoted in this article as “I understand that people don’t want to pay the fee. But a much easier way to avoid the fee than pre-empting our law is just to bring a reusable bag. It’s just not that hard.”

If people don’t want to pay this fee, then why is Lander still pushing for it? As far as reusable bags, this is not the answer. These reusable cloth bags don’t hold much, get dirty fast and have been proven to spread sickness (for example, the flu in California) and when they eventually rip after a couple months will be tossed in our streets like umbrellas on a rainy day clogging up our sewers or just adding bulk to our landfills which will harm our environment more than it helps.

Lander conveniently omits to say, as well as your article, that Lander’s Nickel Bag Fee applies not only to plastic, but paper bags.

We New Yorkers have enough stress in our lives with just getting by with high housing costs, medical care, food bills that the last thing we all need is to pay the Lander Nickel Shopping Bag Fee.

There are better alternatives like biodegradable plastic bags and paper bags which are recycled or just ask people to voluntarily recycle our plastic bags.

Common sense needs to prevail in our city council and it appears that this will only occur when hypocrites like Brad Landers and his colleagues, who by the way voted themselves a 32 percent salary increase a year ago, leave the city council due to

PETE KATZ



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