Sack the NYC Plastic Bag Tax

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) urged lawmakers in Albany to sack a tax on plastic bags proposed by several New York City Council members.

“It’ll be a headache for small businesses to administer and another nuisance tax for middle-class consumers in one of the most expensive cities in America,” said NFIB New York Director Mike Durant.  “There doesn’t seem to be an issue too small to escape attention from the Mayor, the Council and the bureaucrats and it’s having an effect on the city’s reputation as a place to do business.”

The measure would impose a 10-cent tax on plastic bags as way to discourage their use.  Restaurants would be exempt, street vendors wouldn’t and folks buying with Food Stamps wouldn’t be charged.  Businesses would get to keep the money, but that won’t compensate for the record-keeping, reporting and employee training that will be necessary to avoid charging some customers and letting others skate.

“If consumers decide that they don’t want plastic bags then they’ll bring their own or they’ll talk to their favorite merchants.  There’s no reason for politicians and bureaucrats in New York City to launch another behavior modification scheme,” said Durant.

The Big Apple has been on a tear in recent years with outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushing for bans on tobacco, trans-fats, Styrofoam cups and most recently large sodas.  Durant said that small business owners want to shed the Nanny City reputation as well as the tedious policies hurt them and which could influence the rest of the state.

“The City is a trend setter for policymakers in Albany and elsewhere and it’s important that we put a stop to this silliness,” said Durant.  “We can’t allow a special tax on every product or service that falls out of favor among the politicians in New York City.  Small businesses and their customers can decide between paper and plastic and the state should side with them.”

For more information about NFIB, please visit

About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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