Bag tax is a form of larceny

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The recently passed vote by the village board for merchants to start charging 10 cents per bag, effective Jan. 1, 2018 is horrible, a black mark on Oak Park, and will be larceny for merchants for the 5-cent kickback on each bag. I have always recycled the bags I bring home from stores, using them for my garbage and recycling, among other things.

They say low-income people won't be charged for bags. I assume low-income people will be people using Link cards. This presents two questions for me: How will people using Link cards be recognized when they buy other items, like soap, a can of carpet cleaner, clothes, etc.? And what about people who don't use Link cards who are struggling to make ends meet each month? Are they to inform the cashier with each purchase so they won't be charged for bags and risk embarrassment of their situation with the cashier and people in line behind them who might overhear?

This idea for Oak Park is worse than the tax lady's soda tax for Cook County. I walked or have taken public transportation all my life so have never had to put up with Oak Park's parking rules, but I've been a homeowner here since 1957 so have struggled twice a year for 60 years to pay my tax bill with its self-serving referendums. 

This 10-cent bag tax, with a 50% kickback for merchants, I repeat, is larceny and more thought should be given by the board to Oak Park residents who are struggling financially than passing rules like this. Maybe residents could be encouraged to recycle their bags instead of having them taxed.

Mary Trifone

Oak Park

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Jeffrey Smith from Oak Park   

Posted: August 17th, 2017 7:35 PM

Really, all this angst over a bag tax? The solution is spectacularly simple: by 4 or 5 reusable grocery bags and bring them with you to the store. They have more structure and are easier to pack than the sloppy plastic bags, and much easier to carry than paper bags since the have handles. People are so exercised about this you'd think the law is telling them they have to carry everything in their arms.

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