This isn’t about the environment, it’s all about raising taxes

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atch out, the Green Police may be on their way to your local grocery store.


    Arlington Democrat Delegate Adam Ebbin has introduced legislation into the General Assembly that would require retailers to charge shoppers 5 cents for each non-reusable bag issued to customers. It’s just another case of government sticking its nose where it shouldn’t and, by so doing, hurting the poor and middle class families the most.


    As if the federal government’s push for the energy cap-and-trade legislation that would forever negatively alter life in this country wasn’t enough, now the state government wants to get involved. The global warming hoax is being exposed in a river of lies and hidden agendas, but that doesn’t seem to affect the push from the Green Police. You might think that the folks in Washington would look out their windows to see just how bad global warming is these days. Oh, that’s right, they all left town early last week so they wouldn’t get snowed in. We can only hope for a few more snow storms to blow that way. The less Congress tries to do these days the better.


    The thought that appears to be in the latest proposed state Green Police offer is that if it’s good enough for folks in California and Washington D.C., it’s good enough for folks in Virginia. Shouldn’t we look for a better standard than those? Don’t be deceived. This is your government trying to put one more tax on you so it will have more money to spend.


    Look at what would happen to the funds collected from the tax proposed by Ebbin. The money from the “Virginia Waterways Clean Up and Consumer Choice Act,” as it is so deceptively called, would go into the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund. So we’re going to tax your grocery bags in order to help clean up water.


    But, of course, it would also help the stores. If that’s not proposed, what motive would there be for business to support the legislation. Ebbin’s bill would let retailers keep 1 cent of the 5-cent fee – and 2 cents if the store has a customer bag credit program.


    In the first year, the fee is expected to raise about $48 million for the Water Quality Improvement Fund. Wouldn’t that money be better utilized in the pockets of Virginia’s citizens?


    A subcommittee of the House Finance Committee was scheduled to consider the legislation on Tuesday. If we’re lucky, the snow blowing through Virginia delayed that debate.


    But smarter heads might prevail anyway.


    A different panel killed a related bill that would have imposed an outright ban on the use of plastic carryout bags by retailers.


    One Virginia legislator said he was disappointed that Virginia wasn’t leading the way in charging for those pesky little plastic bags. We’re disappointed Virginia is considering it at all.


    Don’t be fooled. This isn’t about plastic bags, it’s all about taxing Virginia’s citizenry. Of course, some of us might give up the plastic bags if we could go back to paper bags. But that, of course, would kill too many trees.