I've said it before and I'll say it again, thank goodness for Mayor Rob Ford!
In keeping with his title given by the people of Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford, "The People's Mayor", is as disgusted and offended by the 5 cent plastic bag tax implemented by former Mayor David Miller and his lefty cronies down at City Hall, as the majority of the people of Toronto, and will look to abolish it as soon as possible.
The plastic bag tax, a tax based on pure stupidity, takes 5 cents for each plastic bag used when purchasing goods in Toronto (not to mention adding on an additional penny when the HST is thrown on top of it). The tax never had any kind of instruction for the retailers collecting the tax to give the money to the City of Toronto. Instead, the retailers were allowed to use the tax as they saw fit, with some giving portions to charity, and others keeping it for additional revenue. I mean, what other product can you sell with over a 500% markup, and have the full backing of the mentally un-sound former Mayor of Toronto?
Here's the story from the National Post:
Ford looking to abolish plastic bag tax
Mayor Rob Ford has set his sights on abolishing Toronto’s controversial bag tax after hearing over the holiday season from shoppers who “can’t stand” the levy.
“All of a sudden the five cents is really becoming a sticking point with people and it wasn’t really before, so I want to get rid of it,” Mayor Ford said of what it costs in Toronto to get a plastic bag at a store.
The fee was brought in by David Miller’s regime as a way to reduce the amount of packaging ending up in the landfill. Consumers often pay six cents, when stores pass on the HST.
Several major grocery chains have reported a dramatic drop in the number of bags distributed since the bylaw came into effect in 2009, but critics have blasted the tax, the proceeds of which can go entirely to retailers. The city encourages the money be given to community or environmental initiatives, but can’t force businesses to do so. During the campaign, Mr. Ford suggested mandating the charitable donation, but he’s rethinking it now.
“I don’t want to burden the businesses with it to say that you’ve got to pay x number of dollars into this environmental program, so I don’t know what the answer is. But the taxpayers shouldn’t pay these five cents anymore,” said Mayor Ford. “I’m going to change how it’s being implemented right now, put it that way. How we’re going to do it, I’m not quite sure, but we’re definitely going to review it. Because spending five cents and just putting it in the pocket of businesses doesn’t make any sense to me.”
But Mayor Ford highlighted the tax as one of his important goals for 2011 during an interview with the National Post on Wednesday. He said quashing the land transfer tax and “getting subways built” are also at the top of his agenda; he’s committed to freezing property taxes for residents “however we can achieve it.”
Finally, a Toronto Politician that makes............cents. (Yes, yes, I know that was horrible...)
PS: In case you were wondering, below is a list of the Toronto City Councillors who voted in favour of, against and were absent from, the City Council Vote on the Toronto City Plastic Bag Tax (SOURCE: RobFord.ca - Council Votes):
December 2008 - The City should not ban bottled water or charge five cents for each plastic bag - Yes (11), No (32), Absent (2)
No (Vote in Favour of Plastic Bag Tax)
Yes (Vote Against Plastic Bag Tax)
Absent (Absent from Plastic Bag Tax Vote)
http://www.toronto.ca/garbage/packaging_reduction/pdf/sticker_5cent.pdf by City of Toronto - Packaging Reduction Policies