The New York State Assembly voted on February 7th to implement a one year moratorium on cities from taxing consumers for using disposable plastic or paper shopping bags. A day earlier the moratorium was passed by the New York State Senate. The bill (A04883) prohibits any taxes, fees, or other charges to be implemented on carryout merchandise bags. If signed by the Governor, the moratorium will take effect , and expire at the end of 2017.
Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, were vocal proponents of the moratorium due to the financial burden it would have on low- and middle-income families, as well as, local businesses.
“I’m glad that both houses overwhelmingly passed the moratorium on the plastic bag fee. The bag fee law places a great financial burden on low-income New Yorkers already struggling to make ends meet. While I greatly value our environment, I believe there’s a more common-sense approach to clean up our cities. I’m excited to work with my colleagues toward a more sensible solution to a reduction in plastic litter,” said State Senator Jeff Klein.
"I am pleased my colleagues and I have agreed to pass the moratorium on the plastic bag tax. New Yorkers cannot afford another tax, especially one that will disproportionately impact our low-income communities, working families, and senior citizens. I look forward to working towards a solution that paves the way for a cleaner environment, but does not place an unjust burden on our City's most vulnerable residents," Said Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj
"By postponing this foolish tax on the residents of New York City we have clearly told the New York City Council to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan that will be environmentally friendly but not tax the people," said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto.