To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Baltimore City Council Hates Poor People

City Council goes to work on important legislative work -- like enacting highly regressive taxes used to punish poor people. Keep up the good work assholes!
Baltimore City Council is scheduled to take another run Tuesday at reducing the proliferation of plastic bag litter around the city.

The council will have a hearing and work session on bills aimed at banning plastic carryout bags altogether or imposing a 25-cent fee on each. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. before the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee, 4th floor of City H all.

One bill, introduced by Council members James B. Kraft, Mary Pat Clarke and Bill Henry, would bar grocery stores and "formula retail establishments" (aka convenience stores and fast-food chains) from giving customers their merchandise in plastic bags.

Merchants would only be able to put merchandise in recyclable paper bags or reusable bags. Violators would be fined $250 for a first offense up to $1,000 for three or more offenses in a six-month period.

The other bill, inroduced by Council members Henry, William H. Cole IV, Kraft and Clarke, would require merchants to levy a 25-cent fee on every plastic bag dispensed at carryout. Exceptions would be granted for bagging up fresh fish and meat, candy, cooked foods, dairy products, fruits and nuts and ice.
Fucking retarded. When I accused a supporter of the tax via twitter, of hating poor people he requested the data that shows poor people use more plastic bags than other economic brackets. As I told him, it doesn't matter. If we assume everyone is using the same number of plastic bags (and I'm willing to bet that poor people DO use more plastic bags) a greater percentage of the poor consumers' income is going towards a stupid plastic bag tax. At 25 cents a pop that's a pretty stiff tax on a grocery trip.

The exceptions make even less sense. How does that work? The cashier at the store is tasked with keeping track of what items are exempt, and making sure they all go in the same bag? Can you mix exempt and non-exempt goods in the same bag? Does the bag get taxed or no? It's the very definition of an unfair bureaucratic burden on commerce. It's stifling and punitive. Not a very good idea in a poor city.

Labels: , , ,