Nicolello: Nassau paper bag tax 'dead on arrival'

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MINEOLA -

Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello says an option to charge a nickel for a paper shopping bag "is dead on arrival" in the county.

Next March, plastic bags from food markets and convenience and big-box stores will be banned statewide. But each New York county can decide whether to impose a 5-cent fee on paper bags. If a municipality does collect the money, 3 cents will go into a state environmental protection fund and 2 cents would be returned to the local government imposing it.

But the Republican-led Nassau Legislature says the fee is just a tax in disguise.

"Our residents already face some of the highest taxes in the country, highest cost of living," Nicolello says. "It is difficult to survive here in Nassau, and to have another tax imposed on our residents is simply not tolerable."

News 12 spoke with some shoppers who say they don't want to be charged for paper bags.

Environmentalists applaud the statewide ban on plastic carry-out bags and believe a fee on paper bags will force people to change their habits.

Democratic lawmakers say they may still introduce legislation that would impose a 5-cent fee for paper bags in Nassau.

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