Senator Hass tries to censor the word tax from bag tax bill

SB 536: Plastic bag ban and paper bag tax cartoon
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

At yesterday’s SB 536 plastic bag ban and paper bag tax hearing, State Senator Mark Hass refused to allow people testifying to mention the word tax. Senate Bill 536 forces a grocer to charge 5 cents per paper bag. Senator Hass said that he checked with government Legislative Council and discovered that they do consider the bill a tax therefore it magically is now not a tax even though government is forcing people to give up money. This tax censoring is a dangerous step with politicians who wish to pass taxes under a different name. The cartoon below shows the silliness behind not calling the paper bag tax an actual tax.
Oregon Plastic bag tax ban Senator Hass tries to censor the word tax from bag tax bill

It was not clear at the hearing what the plastic bag ban and bag tax supporters are defining the tax as and what word the public should use .

Here is the Webster dictionary definition of a tax

“A charge usually of money imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes”

How could the plastic bag ban and bag tax not be considered a tax.

tt twitter big4 Senator Hass tries to censor the word tax from bag tax bill tt facebook big4 Senator Hass tries to censor the word tax from bag tax bill tt linkedin big4 Senator Hass tries to censor the word tax from bag tax bill tt reddit big4 Senator Hass tries to censor the word tax from bag tax bill

Posted by at 04:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 34 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Angry

    The scarist thing here is the censorship imposed by this total buffoon. How dare he tell me what I can say or not say. What a fool. I say we refuse to allow anyone to use the words good, nice, sane, or gentleman when speaking of this moron.

    This is 1984 all over again. What a complete dolt!!!
    He most likely doesn’t even go shopping, so what does he know anyway?
    Not much.

  • Deuce Darts

    Sorry. It is no more a tax than what you pay for any other item that you buy at the supermarket. If you don’t want to buy a bag, bring your own. . . .
    By the way, taxes are not all bad. They pay for essential services.

    • Steve Plunk

      Should we call it an unfunded mandate? We’re being told to pay for something without being given the funds to do it. If I forget my own bag what then?

      Of course not all taxes are bad. Conservatives have never called for an end to all taxes. But remember not all taxes are good either. We are sorting out this one right now.

      • valley person

        Gee Steve, what a tough problem to solve! You forgot your bag. As one who on occasion forgets his reusable bags, let me try to help. You options are:
        1) Slap yourself on the forehead, say DOH, go back home and get your bags.
        2) Repeat the slap, and buy new resuables with your groceries (its handy to have extras)
        3) Pay the 5cents for the paper bags, and re-use them next time you go to the store. I’ve gotten 5 uses out of single paper bags. This way you only paid maybe 1 cent for it per use.
        4) Jump up and down, complain about big government, and curse out anyone in the store who looks left wingish.I have not tried this one myself, but let us know how you feel afterwards if you do.

        Note however that in no case are you sending 5 cents to the government. Hence, it isn’t a tax.

        • Steve Plunk

          Go back and get my bag? And waste all that gas? Be forced to buy more bags? Pay the bag tax? The only that makes sense is to scowl at any liberals I might see but I do that anyway. I usually mutter “freakin hippies” or something along those lines.

          This is just too small of an issue for the Legislature to be wasting time on. Fiddling while Rome burns.

          • valley person

            Its too small of an issue to waste your time complaining about. Buy some reusable bags that have “don’t tread on me” on the side, scowl at hippies, and experience a win-win.

        • Wbdolf

          I find it interesting when people don’t have a clear argument that they resort to personal attacks like you did to Steve Plunk. Explain to me where the money is going then if not to state government as a tax? I’m not complaining about the discussion of money for bags but let us be very clear on the destination and purpose of the money. If it is going to the state government (regardless of how it gets there) then it is a tax so then let us discuss it as such and decide if it is necessary. If it is going to a business to keep (no pass through) then why is the legislature wasting time getting into a bag discussion when it is a private business decision? As Steve said – not all taxes are bad. I think it is reasonable and prudent to understand what taxes we are paying and where they are going. To do anything less than that is financial foolishness regardless of your political views!

          • Founding Fathers

            How about Steve Plunk’s personal attack? “The only that makes sense is to scowl at any liberals I might see but I do that anyway. I usually mutter ‘freakin hippies’ or something along those lines.”

            Do you believe that we all have a right to pass along costs to others?

            There is a cost to using plastic bags, in the way of dead animals, litter, and increased recycling costs. It seems as though those on the right are all for socializing environmental costs.

          • Steve Plunk

            That was no personal attack so don’t try and play it as such. A personal attack is leveled at someone personally not generic statements and especially not ones made in jest as a response.

            As for paying for the costs, I pay taxes for litter patrols. Dead animals? Should I remove windows since birds are killed flying into them or maybe ban the cats that kill millions of them a year? The point is those costs you mention are not material.

    • Joe. S

      Explain essential services. I would say my essential services are worlds away from yours.

  • http://www.facebook.com/darrellwfuller Darrell Fuller

    I’m not a big fan of censorship, but I’m not quite sure I can agree with calling it a tax. If it is a tax, then isn’t my statutorily required auto insurance a car tax? Bottle refunds a bottle tax? You are also required to pay a deposit on car batteries (car battery tax?). When I get my deposits back, are those tax refunds? I oppose both the ban on plastic bags and requiring a fee on paper bags. It is government over-reach to the point of being absurd. I’m just not sure I can agree on the tax label.

  • http://www.facebook.com/darrellwfuller Darrell Fuller

    I’m not a big fan of censorship, but I’m not quite sure I can agree with calling it a tax. If it is a tax, then isn’t my statutorily required auto insurance a car tax? Bottle refunds a bottle tax? You are also required to pay a deposit on car batteries (car battery tax?). When I get my deposits back, are those tax refunds? I oppose both the ban on plastic bags and requiring a fee on paper bags. It is government over-reach to the point of being absurd. I’m just not sure I can agree on the tax label.

    • Founding Fathers

      Ah, but Darrell, the right’s bread-and-butter for the last 30+ years is to depict anything with the word “tax” as evil. At least when it’s something they want to stop.

      When their hero, Ronald Reagan, raised taxes on the working class, there was nary a peep about it.

      • No fan of the little red snook

        FF, Mouth see tongue for what’s Left of US!

  • Canman

    If it was one dollar a bag it might actually help. 5 cents is nothing.

    Make it a buck so folks will pick it up! Should be a deposit system, like we have for cans.

    This isn’t rocket science.

    • ReallySimple

      Our can and bottle deposit system is the worst idea in the world. You drive to a center and waste gas AND time, to recycle and save the planet? If you put a recycling bin near my house/your apartment, people would still voluntarily put cans and bottles in those bins, without having a fee.
      More and more people are using the reusable bags. More and more will, but not by taxing people.
      The best comment here is:” This is just too small of an issue for the Legislature to be wasting time on.” Get people back to work! Get to some real issues not taxing plastic or paper bags. Mark is in my district and I can tell you right now it’ll be his last! He can go back to his Nike job and stop bothering people.

  • http://twitter.com/AFPOregon AFPOregon

    This was among the most interesting exchanges of yesterday’s hearing. Sen. Hass was clearly concerned that labeling the mandatory 5-cent-per-bag fee a “tax” would trigger Oregon’s requirement for a supermajority in each House to pass his plastic bag ban. He even humorously cited a self-serving “legal opinion” that it wasn’t a tax. This bill probably does not even have a simple majority, much less a supermajority. Additionally, even liberal Democrats in safe Districts don’t want to be seen as a job-killing tax-raiser, which is progress.

  • Jim

    Well, it could be considered everything other than a tax for the simple fact that there is no authority “making” you pay it. If you want a paper bag, pay 5 cents to cover the store’s cost while supporting Oregon forest products and paper manufacturing. If you don’t, bring a reusable bag.

    I forgot, the Taxpayer Association hates business.

  • Jim

    Well, it could be considered everything other than a tax for the simple fact that there is no authority “making” you pay it. If you want a paper bag, pay 5 cents to cover the store’s cost while supporting Oregon forest products and paper manufacturing. If you don’t, bring a reusable bag.

    I forgot, the Taxpayer Association hates business.

    • Steve Plunk

      The stores already build in the cost of the bags, paper and plastic. Let the stores and the consumers choose. Government hates business. The Taxpayer Association fights for business and individuals.

      • valley person

        But they don’t build in the cost of picking up the litter, or rescuing the wildlife that swallowed their plastic, or the cost of landfills, or the cost of protecting oil transports. Nor do you apparently.

        I’m an individual and a businessman. The taxpayer association is not fighting for me.

        • Demosthenes

          Volunteers pick up litter, or prisoners do. Volunteers rescue the wildlife. Landfills should be maintained privately, and not by the state. Oil Transports should be protected by armed guards.

          You may be an individual and a businessman, but you’re also a complete moron who’s business I would never want to visit. And once this gets out, no one else will visit either.

          • Jim

            Wow, getting called “a complete moron” by someone that doesn’t know the difference between “whose” and “who’s.” Accept no substitute!

          • http://www.facebook.com/gene.bivins Gene Bivins

            Criticizing an opponent’s spelling is the ultimate in irrelevance.

          • Martymcluvin

            Putting down a put-down is a band wagon! HO HO I have joined as well!

          • Founding Fathers

            But Jim, “Demosthenes” violated the first rule of calling someone stupid–make sure your grammar and spelling are correct.

      • Jim

        Hahahahha! Fights for business and individuals. No it fights for big business and uberrich individuals. If it were fighting for business and individuals, it would be supporting a bill that will be a boon to a Beaverton paper bag manufacturer and the Oregon forest products industry, but instead it’s trying to maintain the polluting, scenic-beauty-and-seafood-destroying out-of-state plastics industry.

        Disgusting. You did nothing to refute my points except to paint a broad brush of stupid, tired talking points.

      • Jim

        Hahahahha! Fights for business and individuals. No it fights for big business and uberrich individuals. If it were fighting for business and individuals, it would be supporting a bill that will be a boon to a Beaverton paper bag manufacturer and the Oregon forest products industry, but instead it’s trying to maintain the polluting, scenic-beauty-and-seafood-destroying out-of-state plastics industry.

        Disgusting. You did nothing to refute my points except to paint a broad brush of stupid, tired talking points.

      • Jim

        Hahahahha! Fights for business and individuals. No it fights for big business and uberrich individuals. If it were fighting for business and individuals, it would be supporting a bill that will be a boon to a Beaverton paper bag manufacturer and the Oregon forest products industry, but instead it’s trying to maintain the polluting, scenic-beauty-and-seafood-destroying out-of-state plastics industry.

        Disgusting. You did nothing to refute my points except to paint a broad brush of stupid, tired talking points.

  • http://www.beaverjournal.com Benjamin Kerensa

    Why is it that Senator Hass and Senator Atkinson are working so hard to ban plastic bags… could it be that they received lots of contributions from the paper bag industry?

    http://www.beaverjournal.com/2011/02/08/does-oregon-senator-mark-hass-wants-to-ban-plastic-bags-because-paper-bag-manufacturers-contributed-to-his-political-career/

    Bingo!

  • Bob

    What is wrong with having the checkout clerk just put the groceries in the cart without any bag? Or will it be required to have some sort of bag? If you have to have some sort of bag then it will be like Obama-care, requiring you to buy health insurance. Why do they require the store to not charge less than five cents for a paper bag? That seems anti-American to me. Some groceries are normally in a paper bag. Will you be charged for that bag? (garlic bread)

    • Disillusioned Smith7

      Right on… If the store won’t place your purchased items into a cart without bagging them first… go to another store… Costco does not bag your purchased items

  • Pingback: sam waltonman

  • Pingback: yellow october

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)