Proposed tax on plastic bags

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Rep. Regina Barrow is proposing a tax on plastic shopping bags for the state. While she says it's something that could help to keep Louisiana green, some shoppers say they would not support it.

Barrow says all too often the bags end up as litter. That's why she is proposing a five cent tax on plastic bags at retail locations across the state. She says she's seen this tax used in other states, and it's helped to keep their cities cleaner.

"Of course they are definitely filling our landfills astronomically," said Rep. Regina Barrow, (D) Baton Rouge. "One of my goals was to make it a lot more eco-friendly and encourage individuals to use those reusable bags."

President of the Louisiana Chemical Association Dan Borne hopes he and Barrow can come up with a better solution and one that could benefit the state and companies that make plastic products.

"When you pick and chose from products and start taxing them, you can very much impact the supply chain and finally end up costing jobs down the road," said Borne.

Barrow says the bill is only meant to help the state. It could save the environment and help fund organizations, like the Council on Aging, that have lost some state dollars in past years. Still, some voters say they would not support it.

"I don't feel too comfortable with another five cents on each grocery know as if we're not paying enough taxes here in the state of Louisiana," said one Cortana Mall shopper.

"The taxes for the casinos, they said they would be used for education. But yet, you're still closing schools down. You're still cutting back on education. So basically, the money is never being used where they say it's going to be used," said David Jack, another shopper at Cortana Mall.

Barrow says she debated proposing this tax during this session when the Governor's controversial tax proposal will also be presented, but she says preserving the state's environment cannot be delayed anymore.

For the bill to become law, it would need a two thirds vote in the house of representatives and the senate when session starts April 8th. It would also need support from voters in a statewide election.

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