Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pennies for Parks

The question of "paper or plastic" will be replaced by one penny or no penny if a proposal in the New York Legislature becomes law. A proposal in the senate (SB 4277) from Democrat Jose Serrano and from Democrat Steve Englebright in the Assembly (AB 6272), would impose a one penny tax on single use carryout plastic bags to help fund state parks and historic sites.
The idea behind these bills is that the under-funded state park systems would benefit from an additional source of revenue for capital expenditures, which could be realized by charging a one cent per bag tax. Their bill memo's argue that the state park system's are already in need of funds, which justifies this nominal fee.
This proposal has the strong support of the Open Space Institute, which is looking for any source of revenue in the wake of the $17 million in proposed cuts by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget. Erik Kulleseid, the director of the Alliance for New York State Parks, projected that the tax could generate $60 million a year and deter people from using plastic bags that end up littering landfills.

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