Juneau voters defeat tax on plastic shopping bags

Associated PressOctober 5, 2011 

JUNEAU -- Voters in Juneau have defeated a 15-cent tax on plastic shopping bags.

Unofficial results, with 16 of 16 precincts reporting, showed 4,191 votes against Proposition No. 5 and 1,850 for it.

The proposition asked whether local laws should be changed to allow for the tax, which would be assessed for each bag a person uses. The tax would be collected by retailers that sell grocery, hardware, liquor or sundry items and have had annual average gross sales of $15 million or more over the last five years.

A city official said four or five businesses fit that criterion.

The tax was meant to encourage use of reusable bags. But the executive director of the Alaska Restaurant and Retailers Association called the proposal regressive and said it would hurt large businesses.

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