The Mayor and Council of Atlantic Highlands will vote on December 19th to ban plastic bags in town while taxing residents for each paper bag they receive at each business. While a legitimate discussion about the use of plastic bags is raging throughout the country, the Mayor’s attempt to sneak through a tax on borough residents is shameful. Because the Borough Council is not willing to wait for New Jersey to proceed with a statewide ban on plastic bags, they are willing to risk the health of the Borough’s businesses in exchange for a handful of silver coins.
If approved, the Borough will require every merchant to charge ten cents per paper bag. Five cents of every charge must be paid as taxes to the Borough. The merchant will be legally barred from paying the fee for the customer in order to coerce residents to provide and launder their own reusable bags. The Borough Council is satisfied to increase taxes on residents when they shop in the Borough. After years of American Express’ “Shop Small Shop Local” campaign, it seems Atlantic Highlands will promote it own version… “TAX SMALL. TAX LOCAL.” This is the time for residents and business owners in Atlantic Highlands to tell the Mayor that hidden fees and taxes will no longer be tolerated. This Ordinance will literally Nickel and Dime Atlantic Highlands residents out of the borough’s businesses.
Call the Borough Administrator at 732-291-1444 and come to the December 19 Council meeting to tell the Mayor and Council that the Paper Bag Tax is not the way to generate fees from the residents of the Borough.
Richard P Stryker
Atlantic Highlands, NJ