No Bag Tax in Seattle

August 19, 2009

Seattle voters have decided against a tax on plastic and paper shopping bags.

The defeat – 58 percent to 42 percent, with more than half of the expected votes counted – means an ordinance passed by the Seattle City Council last year will not take effect. Had Referendum 1 passed, grocers, convenience marts and drugstores would have charged shoppers 20 cents for each bag they were provided at checkout counters.

Meant to reduce the amount of litter and garbage, the tax was criticized for unfairly targeting grocery, drug, and convenience stores rather than all retailers, as well as being projected to not decrease city garbage by a significant amount. Supporters of the tax vow not to be intimidated:

“Big money can come in and run deceptive scare campaigns, but in the end, people who care will defeat the people who scare,” said Green Bag Campaign spokesman Brady Montz.


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