Eye On Olympia

SATURDAY, JAN. 31, 2009, NOON

Tax on plastic proposed…

A senator from a struggling timber district has come up with an interesting idea: a tax on plastic.

The money would go into a special "climate protection forestry account," which would be used to pay for incentives to the forestry industry. The goal: to reduce carbon, presumably by growing trees. The incentives would be for forest management, including thinning and fertilization, and encouraging the use of wood in construction, "instead of the more intensive fossil fuel products such as concrete, plastic, and steel."

Senate Bill 5747 comes from Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, a self-employed forester.

Plastic- and plastic-container makers in Washington would have to pay a tax equal to about one-fifth of 1 percent on the value of the products they churn out.

The bill has been referred to the Senate environment committee.




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