Housing Complex

Six Figure Earner Will Drive to Maryland to Avoid Bag Fee


The predictable bag fee backlash is underway.

As of Friday, it now costs five cents for most plastic grocery bags (exceptions listed here). One District man says he's not going to take it–at least that's what he recently wrote on a Columbia Heights listserv.

He's vowing to drive to Maryland for his groceries, or only buy things in D.C. that he can carry in his own hands. Thus, if this man does follow through with his plans and continues to occasionally shop in D.C., he should be pretty easy to spot—angry face, full arms. I can just imagine him now shouting "stupid hippies!!!" at the girl scouts handing out free reusable bags on New Year's Day.

Here's his message. Note the threat of quiet, mass rebellion in paragraph two:

I discovered something interesting this weekend while shopping at Target: I now will spend less resulting in less taxes collected by the city for my purchases. Why? I refuse to pay the 5 cent per bag tax. So I will only buy what I can carry in my own two hands. I usually spend hundreds of dollars a weekend at Target. Now I spend very little.

Fewer purchases = less sales tax generated = more money left in my bank account. And I am not alone.

I also now find it cheaper to drive my hybrid to the Safeway in Maryland to purchase groceries. I get 50+ MPG in my hybrid so an extra mile is nothing compared to 5 cents per bag. So Maryland will now get my sales tax money.

I also find myself ordering more things online now so that they can be delivered bag tax and sales tax free. The only problem is now I need to throw away all those boxes and packaging material. There is no tax on sticking it in my trash can.

So there you go City Council. Someone with a 6 figure salary has now made a lifestyle change because of the bag tax. Taxation without representation now done locally.

Here's to all the Amazon boxes now clogging the rivers.

Image from the District Department of the Environment

  • Love the Bag Tax

    of all the things to get mad at DC city council for...

    he clearly doesn't even participate in the FREE curbside recycling DC provides with his "Amazon boxes in river" comment.

    what a douche

  • http://www.farmfreshmeat.com Jamie

    This is so completely ludicrous. A five cent (avoidable) bag tax put him over the edge to shop in Maryland versus DC?

    Hard to believe he never noticed DC's 10% (versus 4.5%, I believe) sales tax compared to Maryland. Or our insane income taxes. But hey, we all have our pet peeves, I guess.

    Anyway, I am no fan of the tax, I think it's pretty inane considering we can't even muster a bottle bill, which would clean up about 80% of the trash I see on the streets compared to the one or two bags a day I see blowing around.

    But I'm certainly not going to move or shop out of town because it it. If I was going to do that, there are a hundred much better reasons already.

  • Former Staffer

    It is a stupid tax. Taxes are for revenue, not for behavior modification.

    Yay social engineering through government...no wait.

  • U Street

    He can't bring his own bags? Idiot.

  • John Thompson

    Easy solution: BRING YOUR OWN REUSABLE BAG. Safeway & Whole Foods have some great ones, AND Safeway was giving them away on 1/1/2010.

    Hmm... I wonder if this guy ever thought about the environmental benefit of reusable bags. God forbid he forgets his reusable bags one day and has to pay the whoppin' $0.05/bag (which I'm sure is very harsh on his 6 figure income). REALLY. 8 bags= 40 cents.

    This money is going to a TERRIFIC cause. I've participated in SEVERAL Anacostia River cleanups. This was a GREAT idea by the council & While I use my reusable bags, I'm MORE than happy to pay the .05 cents/bag (should I forget mine one day), ESPECIALLY if it helps to clean up the Anacostia.

    Well done, City Council!!! Thank you.

  • Carl

    The sales tax in MD is 6%. It was 5% forever, but was raised a few years ago for the revenue. As a MD taxpayer and employee, I welcome him and other douches to the state.

  • I Fired a Former Staffer

    Actually, Former Staffer, taxes are for a variety of purposes, including, sometimes, behavior modification. Just because you personally don't think they should be used that way, doesn't mean they aren't.

  • Marissa

    Wow. Please channel your energy into something useful.

  • Ignacio

    DC = giant doucheteria.

  • Former Staffer

    Electroshock is for behavior modification. Taxes are creatures of revenue. Good government keeps the two separate. Abusive big brother government does not.

  • Mr. Six Figure

    The Washington City Paper should know better than to reprint emails without permission. Maybe they should enroll in some libel classes? Section 230 will not protect you in this case. Adding material that is actionable results in loss of Section 230 protection.

    Next time ask for my permission. Note: this does not grant you permission to use my emails as you still have not asked.

    By the way I am also going to include Virginia in my purchases. They deserve some of my money as well.

    For those that insult me, you are actually showing that I am correct. People only resort to name calling when they are wrong.

  • Five Figure Reusuable Bag User

    Mr. Six Figure posted his message on a large listserv with the intention of it being read by the listserv's many subscribers. Subscription to this listserv is also generally open to the public. Mr. Six Figure really has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the content of his message, no matter how poorly reasoned, reactionary, or unsupported by fact.

  • Mr. Six Figure

    Yes it was an email to a listserv. However what the Washington City Paper and other blogs did was repost it without permission from the original email creator (me in this case). Therefore they have lost the protection of Section 230 which generally protects bloggers from libel action.

    Next time they really should just ask me before reposting a private email to listserv.

    I am still am correct that the tax is a mistake and will not work to reduce bag use. In fact, now it is producing pollution.

  • Glibert Arenas

    coming back from lunch today i was not given a paper bag to take my food back to my locker. i had to carry my burrito in my one hand, my drink in the other.

    two questions:

    1. how do i open the door to the verizon center?

    2. how do i hold my gun?

    we need plastic bags in order that i can perpetuate jokes involving firearms!

  • Rick Mangus



  • U Street

    Staying on topic, Mr. Six Figure still looks extremely petty wrt his reasons for avoiding DC purchases and he avoids discussing the relevant issue in both of his responses above.

    People only resort to avoiding salient points when they are wrong (and petty).

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  • oboe

    Oh, look. There's a douchebag on the Internets, and he's mad as hell, and isn't going to take it any more.

    Thanks for raising the profile of this important story Ruth. Glad to hear someone's got the "petulant douchebag" beat covered.

  • oboe

    Former LC for One-Term GOP Backbencher wrote:

    "Electroshock is for behavior modification. Taxes are creatures of revenue. Good government keeps the two separate. Abusive big brother government does not."

    You should start a blog. V. insightful stuff here.

  • oboe

    "[I]t was an email to a listserv."

    Hey, look, Mr Six Figure is ignorant of technology as well as the law. Glad we're being kept abreast of the latest developments on this ongoing tantrum, though. Better than Real World DC...

  • Former Staffer

    hey oboe, i worked for the longest serving member. he's a D. some of us are more anarchist then commie.

  • Becca

    Hrm. With gas costing at LEAST $2.50 a gallon, and getting 50 miles to the gallon, his gas costs 5 cents a mile. His argument that it's cheaper to drive (not that it should matter) is baloney, unless he fills more than two bags (another 5 cents for the return trip, you know).

  • Mr. Six Figure

    I am correct. You are all wrong. End of story.

  • U Street

    You obviously weren't very good in high school debate.

    You're pitiful. Make that pettyful.

  • Mr. Six Figure

    This is a website, not a debate. He who types fastest wins.

    And I have lots of money. My salary just went up again.

    What recession?

  • Mister Has Enough Money Not to Sweat a 5 Cent Bag Tax

    Keep fighting the good fight! You, sir, are a Great American Hero.

    Of course, when karma in the form of a typical Maryland driver tee-bones your ass, totals your plastic car and puts you in the hospital, we'll all share a wry chuckle at the vagaries of fate.

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  • Mr. Six Figure

    I am a tool.

  • othercontinent

    Has he never heard of taking a cloth bag with him for shopping? It's rather common in most of Europe and cuts down on the trash.

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