Saturday, September 12, 2009

Political Schizophrenia? Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Passes Bag Tax, But Scrubs IM Vehicle Emission Testing Program

On Thursday September 10th, 2009, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly indulged in an orgy of political schizophrenia. First, they increased the burden of government upon the community by voting to impose a five cents tax on each plastic bag given out by the various shops in the community. Assembly member Nadine Winters, who proposed the ordinance (designated FNSBO 2009-40), said the rule’s goals are cutting waste and creating an “economic incentive” to nudge residents toward reusable bags. Money from the tax will go directly into a stand-alone fund reserved for recycling programs as they develop.

Voting for the tax: Nadine Winters (the sponsor), Tim Beck, Bill Stringer, Luke Hopkins and Kelly Brown.

Voting against the tax: Tammie Wilson, Guy Sattley and Mike Musick.

Additional information of interest:

-- Tammie Wilson, who voted against the tax, is running for Borough Mayor. One of her opponents is Luke Hopkins, who voted for the tax.
-- Bill Stringer, who voted for the tax, is stepping down. Vying to replace him are Matthew Want, Eric Grabber, and Daniel S. Osborn. Osborn not only appears to be the strongest candidate in this race, but is least likely to unnecessarily increase the burden of government upon people.
-- Nadine Winters, who voted for the tax, is opposed by Joshua Lott. Blogger Michael Sutherland is quite unhappy with Winters.
-- Mike Musick is running for re-election and voted against the tax. He is opposed by Phil Newton.

On the other hand, the Borough Assembly acted to reduce the burden of government upon the community by voting to scrub the IM vehicle emissions testing program. The vote was unanimous. This is commendable, but is it enough to compensate for the "bag tax"? I think not.

The bag tax is not merely intended to raise revenue, but also to promote a desired form of behavior. The problem with such "morality" taxes is that once the behavior changes, the tax begins to sunset itself, regardless of the revenue needs. Thus morality taxes create an unstable revenue stream.

Consequently, as a result of this vote, here are the voting recommendations for the October 6th Fairbanks election:

-- Borough Mayor: While there are six candidates total, the primary objective should be to prevent Luke Hopkins from getting elected. Since Tammie Wilson appears to be the strongest of the remaining candidates, the smart move would be to unite behind Wilson.

-- Assembly Seat F: It's possible that Joshua Lott may turn out to be just as much a greenie as Nadine Winters. However, he cannot possibly be as arrogant as Winters. But the objective here is to make Winters pay a price for voting for this tax; voting for Joshua Lott is the only way to do it.

-- Assembly Seat G: Since Mike Musick voted against the bag tax, he's proven he doesn't want to increase the burden of government upon people, although some people seem concerned about his position on wood stoves. There is no reason not to re-elect him.

1 comment:

  1. this is bull crap.
    here in los angeles if you go to the register with less than 10 items the cashiers ask "DO YOU WANT A BAG FOR THOSE?"
    I bought a $100 pair of pants at LULU LEMON, and they had to cuff them.
    when i returned to pick-up my $100 pants, the bit*h cashier had the guts to ask, "DO YOU WANT A BAG FOR THOSE?"
    I looked at her with dismay and said, "NO, I DON'T WANT A BAG, I WANT TO WALK DOWN THE STREET AND THEN DROP THEM IN A MUD PUDDLE AND RUIN THEM! OF COURSE I WANT A BAG!"

    The Bit*h then took my $100 pants and rolled them into a ball and literally stuffed THEM like a meatball into the smallest bag she could find. My pants looked like a baseball IN PLASTIC and the bad was the size they use for a can of beer.
    The Bit*h then looked at me and had the guts to ask, "WILL THERE BE ANYTHING ELSE?"

    I SAID YES THERE IS ONE MORE THING! NOW THAT YOU HAVE RUINED MY $100 PANTS AND I NOW HAVE TO HAVE THEM DRY CLEANED AND PRESSED TO GET THE WRINKLES OUT OF THEM, I DON'T THINK I WANT THEM ANY MORE.
    I'LL TAKE A REFUND!

    I'M SICK OF THE BULLSHIT ABOUT BAGS! HELL YES I WANT A BAG! IF YOU SELL ME SOMETHING I WANT A GODDAMNED BAG!

    I DON'T WANT TO CARRY MY TOMATOES IN MY HANDS. I WANT A GODDAMNED BAG!

    ReplyDelete