Plastic bag tax would apply citywide
A proposed plastic bag tax would hit shoppers not just at grocery stores but at all retailers, a change expected to bring in vastly more money to the cash-strapped city.
Facing a deficit that has now ballooned to a projected $4 billion for next fiscal year, the city has revised its bag tax and now expects it to generate $84 million, up from the $16 million the mayor’s office estimated in its November budget plan.
“When we went back to study the plastic bag fee proposal, we broadened who the proposal applies to,” said Jason Post, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “We want to use the fee to discourage use of plastic bags from more sources than just grocery stores.”
The fee is actually a tax, and as such would require state legislative approval.
Shoppers would pay 5 cents per plastic bag, down from the 6-cent charge proposed in November.
The tax is one of a slew of measures laid out in Bloomberg’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget proposal, unveiled last week, aimed at helping the city shore up its finances.
Bloomberg also proposed cutting 23,000 city jobs — including 14,000 teachers and 1,000 police officers — asking municipal employees to contribute to their health plans and raising parking meter rates.