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Niagara County Legislature votes against paper bag tax

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Posted at 1:26 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 15:42:37-04

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara County Legislator voted against a paper bag tax Tuesday night.

In a release to 7 Eyewitness News from the county, lawmakers opposed the tax because New York State is already one of the highest taxed states in the country. The release went on to say lawmakers felt imposing a new tax would place an additional financial burden on Niagara County families.

“At a time when so many families are struggling to make ends meet, the last thing we need is another tax every time we head to the grocery store. I was proud to introduce this resolution and I will continue to stand up for taxpayers,” said legislator Jesse Gooch, a Republican representing Wheatfield and North Tonawanda.

The paper tax would have been implemented in March of 2020 to coincide with the launch of New York's ban on single-use plastic bags.

In the new New York State Budget-- the paper bag reduction fee allows individual counties to 'opt in' to charge a $0.05 fee on paper bags. Forty-percent of that money would support local programs to buy reusable bags for people with low or fixed incomes. The other 60% would go to the state's environmental protection fund.

Lawmakers passed a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in April.

New York will become the third state with a ban on plastic bags starting next March.