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State Lawmakers Try To Stop NYC's 5-Cent Bag Fee

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Some New York state lawmakers are pushing for a statewide policy to prevent the city and other municipalities from enacting taxes or fees for the use of plastic and paper shopping bags.

Last week, the City Council voted 28 to 20 to approve a bill that would require shoppers to be charged a nickel for each bag.

Sen. Simcha Felder is sponsoring Albany legislation that would block New York City from imposing the recently approved fee.

"New Yorkers have a difficult time enough surviving in the city let alone being nickel and dimed every time," Felder said.

Sen. Diane Savino said it's an "ill thought out policy."

"It's some bags in some stores and some people, not all people and none of the nickels go to recycling. It makes no sense," Savino said.

"I'm telling the mayor right now, 'Stop it.' Don't let this go forward. This is unfair to the people of the City of New York," Assemblyman Dov Hikind said, adding that calling it a "fee" is not right. "It looks like a tax, smells like a tax, don't tell me it's not a tax."

Assemblymember Michael DenDekker calls it a regressive tax that will hit the seniors and the working poor.

"This is a time where we have to band together and show the limousine liberals that their nanny state ways of dealing with the public have to stop," he said.

A petition will be circulated to the public on paper and online to "Stop The Bag Tax."

Beginning this fall, stores in New York City will have to charge customers a minimum of 5 cents per plastic or paper bag. The stores get to keep the money and can charge even more if they want to.

The law would take effect in October, but enforcement wouldn't begin until next April.

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