The NYC Council always seems to be focusing on the wrong issues. In May, it passed a 5-cent per bag tax on plastic and paper bags at grocery stores. Citing problems with recycling plastic bags, they decided that more of our hard earned money should go toward the expense of providing a way for us to package the things we buy. The stores get to keep the money they charge for the bags. Interestingly, the surcharge applies to not only plastic bags, but also 100% recyclable paper bags. The thinking is that people should carry reusable bags with them whenever they shop, which is unrealistic, especially if you drop into the store to pick up items like milk on your way home from work. Strangely, people who pay with food stamps are exempt from the tax, as if saving the planet is solely the responsibility of people who earn more money. We’ve never heard of a tax imposed by a legislative body on items provided by private businesses that does not go back to the government to pay for services. Of course, our City Council Member, Elizabeth Crowley was one of the 28 council members who voted to pass this legislation.