Seattle voters say NO to plastic bag tax
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.
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."
As of August 9, 2009 the American Chemistry Council's total contributions towards the campaign against the tax was $1.4 million. According to published reports the total contributions to the Green Bag Campaign were $95,134, as of August 17, 2009.
The campaign to defeat the proposed bag tax was managed by Goddard Claussen. Direct mail services were provided by the Michael D. Meyers Company.
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "City OKs 20-cent fee on plastic, paper bags," July 28,2008
- King County, "Election results, August 18, 2009," August 18, 2009
- The Seattle Times, "Seattle voters don't buy shopping-bag charge," August 19, 2009
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Big $: Anti-Seattle bag tax bucks break fundraising records," August 9, 2009
- Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, "Green Bag Campaign Contributions," accessed August 19. 2009
- "Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission," "Full Summary Report for Coalition to Stop the Seattle Bag Tax," accessed August 21, 2009