Thursday, February 21, 2013

Schmeer v. County of Los Angeles (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 21, 2013)

The Supreme Court says that Obamacare entails a "tax".  Which it surely does (at least in part).  By contrast, the decision by Los Angeles to ban plastic bags and to charge ten cents for every paper bag a consumer decides to get at a store is not a "tax" -- and hence does not require voter approval.

Which also makes sense.  At least when one realizes that the alleged "tax" revenues don't go to the state (and are instead retained by the store) and used exclusively to provide the paper bags voluntarily requested by the consumer, alongside any consumer information or other promotion of reusable bags performed by retailer.

So holds the Court of Appeal.

The plastic bag industry may not like that result.  Maybe consumers won't either.  (Or at least some of them.)

But environmentalists will.  As will a variety of sea (and other) animals.  And, if she has a soul, perhaps Planet Earth as well.

A small step.  But one worth taking.  Even without direct taxpayer approval.  (Plus, if you don't like the policy, you can always vote out the relevant representatives.)