Plastic bag tax could be in the future for Illinois residents

    Plastic bag tax could be in the future for Illinois residents

    A proposed tax in Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker's budget address could change the way residents shop.

    The governor suggested a plastic bag fee as part of his $39 billion budget plan.

    A five-cent plastic bag tax could be in the future for Illinois residents.

    If Governor Pritzker's budget is passed, then Illinois would be the first in the country to issue a state-wide bag tax.

    The proposed budget would reduce the use of plastic bags in check-out lanes and generate $19 million to $23 million in new revenue.

    Chicago has had such a tax since 2017 and charges seven cents per bag.

    Quincy resident Mindy Thomas is not a fan of the possible tax.

    "People can hardly afford food and now you want to charge them five cents for a bag? It just doesn't make sense to me," Thomas said.

    Thomas said a bag tax would force shoppers to get creative and possibly disruptive.

    "They're going to come in carting boxes in your store," Thomas stated.

    Robyn McEndress food shops daily and said she uses lots of plastic bags.

    "It would make things a lot more expensive and it’s ridiculous honestly. I use food stamps a lot so I can't buy bags on food stamps," McEndress said.

    Tom McLaughlin said he also disagrees with the proposed tax.

    "The government is really grasping for straws. This kind of stuff is not the right way to go in my opinion," McLaughlin said.

    Meanwhile Missouri and Iowa have laws preventing local bag taxes.

    The budget proposal now goes to lawmakers. A new fiscal year begins July 1.

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