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Anti-tax group uses Fenty street-sweeping plan for national campaign against bag tax

An anti-tax group is pointing to a plan by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) to rally opposition to proposals in at least 15 states for a bag tax similar to the one enacted in the District earlier this year.

The Tax Foundation issued a release Wednesday noting Fenty wants to use some of the revenue from the city's 5-cent bag tax - which was promised to go into a newly created Anacostia River Cleanup Fund - to pay for street sweeping. The city has been paying for street sweeping for years from the general fund. Now, the Fenty administration argues bag tax revenue can be used because trash often washes in the Anacostia River.

Using Fenty as an example, the Tax Foundation is now calling proposals for bag taxes in other states "another general revenue grab by public officials."

"Politicians are loath to call anything a tax, so these bag taxes are often incorrectly called fees," said Tax Foundation State Policy Analyst Justin Higginbottom. "A fee is paid by a user for a specific service, while a tax raises revenue for general services."

According to the foundation, bag tax legislation is pending or has been proposed in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Virginia.

Many D.C. Council members are opposing Fenty's efforts to use the bag tax revenue for street sweeping, arguing it will undercut voters' faith in the law. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), chairman of the Committee of Public Works and Transportation, said in an interview today the revenue is "going to be sent back to the fund" when the council approves the fiscal year 2011 budget later this month.

--Tim Craig

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By Tim Craig  |  May 13, 2010; 10:17 AM ET
Categories:  Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig  | Tags: Adrian Fenty, Anacostia River, Council of the District of Columbia, Tax Foundation  
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Next: Brown pitches tax plan to D.C. wealthy


You don't want to pay the tax? Bring your reusable bag, idiots.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 13, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@jckdoors...or do your shopping in another jurisdiction...

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | May 13, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I will agree with Jckdoors about the reusable bag. At first I thought it was a nuisance and then I thought it was brilliant. And to @Practiceindependent the tax will pass in other states hence the campaign.


But as Fenty suggest new ways to raise revenues voters will ask what about reducing waste fraud and abuse.

I will admit I expected a good reception with Gray on with black voters, but the reception with white voters, Asian and Hispanic has been breathtaking.

You can't have stories like another employee of Ghandi absconded with our money, Rhee needs a gold plated back scratcher, Skinner has another overprice contract,Fenty has a private pool and escort on city funds, Peacoholics was in the Dominican Republic selling city property and the countless pricey staff that wouldn't know how to spell Pennsylvania even with the help of dictionary ---then turn around and ask for everything and the air to be taxed and think citizens won't rebel.

Reducing waste, fraud and abuse seems to be a common theme for why voters that the Post said would not be with Gray seems to be jamming into rooms to hear him speak.

I would like someone do a book on this administration. I would read it. Corrupt and stupid was never such marriage as I saw with Fenty.

Posted by: 411Tibby | May 13, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse


I couldn't say it better myself!!

Posted by: DCJUSTICE | May 13, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone really believed that all the money raised by the bag tax was really going to help cleanup the Anacostia?

Posted by: Jimof1913 | May 13, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

First, Fenty only proposed in his 2011 budget to use the bag tax money for street sweeping. Second, I don't have a link to prove it, but Fenty scrapped his proposal and bag tax money will go to DDOE. It wasn't likely to get approved by city council anyways.

Posted by: jrubin7 | May 14, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse


So let me understand this. The election should be decided by one pot calling the other black.

Gray has bee an obstruction from the day he became chairman.

And, if Eric Paynes court case is true...Gray has been caught red-handed attempting to steer the lottery contract to his supporters. And, purposely obstructing business opportunities for people not loyal to him. Add to that fundraising on Council letterhead and On top of that the arrogance of the fence situtation.

Gray will make for exciting speeches because he will insult his opponent for half of the speech.

Win or lose, Gray is sleezy.

Posted by: politicalrealist | May 14, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Upon further reading of this Tax Foundation article, it is so based on misinformation, I would advise you to actually read the stuff that he cites to support his article. Most of it doesn't even support his claim, is totally unfounded, or is written by petrochemical, plastic, and oil trade associations.

Posted by: jrubin7 | May 14, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

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