Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Recycling/Litter Control Bill is a Thief in Disguise

Hawaii has implemented similar legislation to the one Togiola is asking the people of American Samoa to support. Over here, they call it “the bottle bill.” The government program has been in operation here since the beginning of the year, and it has been stealing money right out of our pockets ever since.

First off, the bureaucracy needed to operate this program needs money in order to run. So like Hawaii, Togiola will need to charge something on top of his 5 cent redeemable fee. Here in Hawaii, the government charges a cent making the total tax 6 cents per bottle. So even if you redeem all of your bottles, you really only get 4 cents after all is said and done.

Second, Hawaii charges the consumer its sales tax after it adds on the redeemable fee. So like Hawaii, Togiola’s program will calculate its sales tax not on a $1 worth of soda, but rather $1.05 ($1.06 or higher if it charges a fee to pay for the bureaucracy). Therefore, your sales tax will be higher than it would be without the redeemable fee. That will further eat into your refund.

Third, not everyone has the resources (time, money, transportation or space) to redeem every single bottle they buy. Only those with the resources can fully participate. These people will also have the incentive to obtain the bottles by shifting through other peoples’ garbage. What this amounts to is a transfer of wealth from the resource-less to the resourceful.

The one to really gain from this is the government itself. Togiola knows full well that not everyone will redeem their bottles. Here in Hawaii, the program collects $2.5 million dollars a month. In the first two months, it only paid out $300,000 in refunds in each month. What was not claimed was kept by the government for the government.

Do not support the Recycling/Litter Control Bill. It is a thief in disguise.


At 8:15 AM , Blogger Eric Durland said...

The redemption rate in Hawaii is 74% now and rising. It is not a tax, but a deposit. It is only a tax on those who choose not to get their deposit back. Those who litter should pay for that choice.

More information at:
The Bottle Bill Blog
Container Recycling Institute

At 2:21 PM , Blogger Talifaitasi Satele said...

thanks eric for the comment, but one quick question: if your bottle bill program was so great, why do you need the government to make it work?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home