Reading about the proposed ordinance to charge 5 cents for every shopping bag left me with a feeling of outrage I haven’t felt since the last time this foolish idea was proposed (”Waterville group eyes Portland blueprint to propose fee on plastic, paper bags,” Aug. 15).

First of all, it is bad policy. I guess the reasoning goes something like this: Make the bags more expensive, fewer people will use them and, therefore, fewer bags will end up in the ocean.

But is this backed up by any actual evidence? My guess is the kind of person that is careless enough to improperly dispose of a plastic bag will not care too much about an extra 5 cents added to their grocery bill, while those who are fanatical about the environment are already using those reusable shopping bags.

Secondly, how is this even constitutional? How can a municipality create an ordinance that is essentially a tax that will affect people who do not live in that municipality? I don’t live in Waterville, but I do most of my grocery shopping there and, in fact, going somewhere else would create a hardship. However, I have no say in the creation of this ordinance, no representative to call or vote to cast.

Our Founding Fathers would call this taxation without representation. Hopefully, Waterville is smart enough to see through this dumb idea.

David Dickson

Winslow


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