Huge drop in bag use due to bag tax could cost city millions, study finds
CHICAGO — The good news is that Chicago’s effort to keep plastic and paper bags out of area landfills by imposing a 7 cents-per-bag tax is succeeding beyond officials’ wildest dreams.
The bad news is that the success of the fee in dissuading shoppers from taking single-use bags means the city’s coffers are taking a steep hit.
Chicago officials balanced the city’s 2017 spending plan based on an assumption that the city would earn $9.2 million this year from the tax.
But that assumption appears to have missed the mark by at least $1.5 million based on data complied by the city through June 18.
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