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Zack Hutchins
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June 15, 2005

Council opposes bill to expand state's 'bottle law'

The Council is opposing a bill (A.2517-B/DiNapoli) that would expand the state’s bottle bill to cover most beverage containers, and “capture” the larger volume of unclaimed bottle deposits to finance new state spending.

The bill effectively imposes an additional tax of $40 million a year or more on New York State consumers in the form of increased unclaimed bottle deposits, the Council argued in a memo opposing the bill. The money would increase state spending under the Environmental Protection Fund by $130 to $180 million a year, which is on top of a $25 million increase in funding awarded to that fund under the 2005 state budget, the memo noted.

The new charge, like a sales tax on food, would disproportionately affect low- and middle- income taxpayers, the memo added.

The memo advances several other arguments:

“New York State continues to operate two separate state-wide recycling programs – mandated municipal recycling for those post-consumer wastes for which there is an ‘economic market,’ and mandated store-based recycling for certain beverage containers,” the memo concluded.

“Shifting materials from one mandated recycling program to another will produce limited environmental benefits to the state, while imposing significant additional costs and inconvenience on consumers and businesses alike.”