Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are calling Governor Murphy’s vetoing of legislation that would have imposed a $.05 cent fee on single-use carryout bags a welcome departure from the extensive roll call of tax increases imposed during State Budget deliberations.
9th District Legislators respond to Governor Murphy’s vetoing of legislation which would have imposed a fee on the use of single-use carryout bags (SenateNJ.com)
The 9th District Legislators responded to Governor Murphy’s vetoing of legislation (A-3267/S-2600) which would have imposed a fee on the use of single-use carryout bags provided by certain types of stores to customers. Revenue generated by the fee was to be dedicated to the newly established “Health Schools and Community Lead Abatement Fund.”
Connors, Rumpf and Gove conveyed their concerns as follows:
“From the outset, it was obvious that the plastic bag fee was far more about raising revenue for the state’s coffers than about protecting the environment. It wasn’t really a hard decision to oppose and vote against the fee in representing the interests of our constituents who are tired of being at the losing end of Trenton’s extreme taxation policies.
“Like other stealth taxes before, revenue from the plastic bag fee would have been dedicated to a special fund. Trenton rarely adheres to laws establishing dedicated funds which can be easily disregarded and overridden by the State Budget. Revenue is often siphoned off for other-than-intended use which only serves to infuriate taxpayers, consumers and businesses.
“Even supporters of the proposed fee readily acknowledge it will hit persons with lesser incomes harder. Otherwise they wouldn’t have exempted persons participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or the Work First New Jersey program. Seniors were originally to be exempted from the fee, but the bill was amended to remove their exemption most likely to ensure that more revenue could be raised, regardless if it posed a financial hardship for some seniors.
“New Jersey dodged another hit to its already unenviable reputation for being unaffordable by the Governor’s vetoing of the plastic bag fee.”