NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio insists that the only way to address his personal concerns about the environment is to punish New Yorkers with his Bag Tax.
Confronted by NY State Senator Simcha Felder this morning at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on 2017-2018 Executive Budget Proposal, the Mayor stubbornly defended his Bag Tax, which is set to take effect on February 15. Asked why it was necessary to punish New Yorkers with another tax, the Mayor insisted that the Federal Government may not being doing enough to help the environment so New York City must lead the way. But Senator Felder didn’t let the mayor’s sidestep go unchallenged.
“The issue isn’t whether or not to protect the environment,” the Senator replied. “Everyone agrees—we ALL want to protect the environment. Period. What I’m talking about—what the mayor isn’t addressing—is why the City has to always be punitive. What my colleagues and I object to is the approach. Why can’t it be positive? Why don’t you give a nickel back to New Yorkers for a change?”
The Senator noted that an overwhelming number of New Yorkers opposed the Mayor’s Bag Tax, and that the City had promised to revisit the proposed Tax last year but only postponed its implementation. “Yet another commitment ignored,” Felder told the Mayor. “And now we’re just two weeks from a crisis facing average New Yorkers.”Senator Felder held up a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs. “Do you know how much a pound of bread costs today?” he asked the Mayor. “Or a dozen eggs? I was in a local shop last week where I watched a mother put back sliced cheese because she didn’t have enough money for everything when she went to pay for her groceries.
“We should implement existing recycling laws,” Senator Felder continued. “Instead, you’re taking another nickel from poor and middle class New Yorkers. You talked about a mansion tax? This is a mansion credit. This is not a tax on the 1%, it’s a tax on the 99%. The issue is why over-taxed, over-ticketed, over-fined New Yorkers are being punished again instead of being treated like adults. It’s unfair and it doesn’t make sense.”
The Senator’s questioning the Mayor can be seen here: