Why I have opened the window!

Amerykah has turned a corner and we should all turn with it. I have thoughts ideas and suggestions but I also have patience and desire for us to be whole and one. I have been speaking a lot lately of the human condition and the generations of Black Americans. i will entertain any and all conversation as long as we can be respectful and grown up. Let the healing begin......

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bag full of taxes

For any of my regular readers you know my posting has been a little light this past week, well there is a very good reason for that. Tomorrow I will be appearing before the City Council of Baltimore. A city councilman has introduced a bill that will charge a “surcharge” of 25 cent per plastic bag from any store in the Baltimore city area. In a economy that is already struggling and a city that was struggling long before that, you want to charge people a tax for basically grocery bags.

It is being introduced as a “green initiative”, a piece of legislature that would help the environment be free of plastic bags. Sounds great on the surface I know but what is the alternative? How do people on a fix income, people with no cars, people just ecking by as it is get their grocery’s home?

I also question how a bill proposed to deter people from using bags is being estimated to bring in a minimum of 1.6 million dollars in revenue?

Other cities have introduced similar legislature but it is on average between 4 and 6 cent. So tomorrow I am going to fight the power, and the research that I normally spend on my blogs has been spent on my day in council.

Wish me luck!!!!


Doug said...

Perhaps you don't realize how cheap the canvas bags are: They're $1 each. They hold probably 50% more groceries each, and they last several years.

The overhead cost of canvas bags is so little, affordability should not be an issue. If you can afford to buy groceries, you can afford to buy a canvas bag. Cut out an extra coupon, and you can use the savings to buy a canvas bag.

Suppose your typical trip to the grocery store would need 4 canvas bags, but you can't afford to shell out the $4 extra all in one trip. Then start switching now, before there's a tax on the plastic bags. Every couple trips to the grocery store, buy a canvas bag. This way, you'll gradually work yourself off of plastic bags before they cost you any money.

By the way, plastic bags actually cost the grocery stores about $0.02 each. That cost of business is of course built into the prices of all of their products. So each time you leave the store with 6 plastic bags, that's theoretically $0.12 you could have saved! That may not sound like much, but add it up: If you go to the store 52 times a year, that's $6.24 per year or $12.48 every 2 years. If your 4 canvas bags last 2 years, and if grocery stores no longer had to buy plastic bags, that'd be $8.48 you'd save every 2 years by switching to canvas. That doesn't sound like much to me, but I suppose it would be a lot to the people you claim can't afford the canvas bags.

For the really out-and-out, perhaps the WIC program could include canvas bags.

D.J. said...


I have a couple of canvas bags that I use for quick trips to the store, but i am part of a family of four, we go thru a lot of groceries. We also dont have a car so we have to carry the groceries. Usually 2 or 3 of us go for the major shopping trips and then one person for the other pick ups. The canvas bag while both economical and environmental are not all that practical for family shopping.

Doug said...

Canvas bags don't stretch or break, they don't sweat, they don't dig into your fingers, and you can put them over your shoulders. If you're walking to the store (I do), how are plastic bags more practical than canvas?

If you're implying that you need to buy more groceries and thus need more canvas bags...again, they're very cheap. They're a very small percentage of your total grocery order when you're making the large shopping trips you're talking about.

D.J. said...

So Doug let me understand this, your ok with a fake green initative that is being used to double charge folks at the store?

For the record i agree the plastic bags are a issue but i don't think charging people money to fill the city coffers and calling it green is the way to go.....

Doug said...

Not at all.

How is it "fake" green? It's better for the environment regardless of the motives behind it. That makes it "real" green.

How is it "double charging"? If you get more canvas bags now, you won't pay a thing for the plastic ones. And once everyone switches to canvas and the stores don't have to provide plastic bags, we'll all save money in the long run on our groceries.

So that would mean you're saying you'd rather pay more for groceries in the long run, and do worse by the earth?

By the way, 1.6 million is a drop in the bucket for city tax revenue; it's hardly going to "fill the coffers". And according to this article, the city has a 65 million dollar budget gap anyway. No coffers would be filled by this tax.

Wonder Man said...

this is interesting