Seattle voters say NO to plastic bag tax

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August 19, 2009


SEATTLE, Washington: Nearly a year after the Seattle City Council approved a 20-cent tax on plastic bags, in a referendum vote the tax was defeated by voters. The Seattle Plastic Bag Tax, also known as Referendum 1, called for voters to affirm or reject the council's 2008 decision, which if approved would have imposed a 20-cent tax on every carryout bag distributed by grocery, drug and convenience stores in Seattle.[1]

According to King County election results the tax received 27,021 (41.91%) votes to approve the tax and 37,455 (58.09%) votes against the tax.[2]

Supporters cited large donations and a heavily funded campaign against the tax as the main reason for the loss. "Big money can come in and run deceptive scare campaigns, but in the end, people who care will defeat the people who scare," said Green Bag Campaign spokesman Brady Montz.

However, plastic bag tax opponent, Adam Parmer, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop the Bag Tax said, "I think the results confirm what the coalition has said from the beginning, that it was a costly and unnecessary tax. I think you saw Seattle voters saying that this was not the right approach to protecting our environment."[3]

As of August 9, 2009 the American Chemistry Council's total contributions towards the campaign against the tax was $1.4 million.[4] According to published reports the total contributions to the Green Bag Campaign were $95,134, as of August 17, 2009.[5]

The campaign to defeat the proposed bag tax was managed by Goddard Claussen. Direct mail services were provided by the Michael D. Meyers Company.[6]

See also

Ballotpedia News
* Seattle Plastic Bag Tax, Referendum 1, 2009