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Viewpoint: A plastic tax will only hurt America’s middle class

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By Kristina Borsello

Guest Columnist

As we head into the final quarter of the year, Democrats in Congress will look to pass landmark pieces of legislation, including an infrastructure package and a once-in-a-lifetime trillion-dollar reconciliation agreement. This measure can open the door to new pathways to economic prosperity for low- and middle-class families; though its price tag has left lawmakers the difficult task of determining how to pay for it.

There have been a multitude of proposals to raise the necessary funds, including higher income taxes on the country’s highest earners, higher corporate taxes, greater IRS enforcement, or an increase to investment taxes. That said, Congress needs to avoid any tax increase on the middle class, including the proposed plastic tax on consumers.

The $120 billion tax is nothing but a regressive tax that would hurt the middle class. The immediate impact being an increase to the price of plastic consumer goods by 26%. As a small business owner, this is a hit I can’t afford. With the higher prices on items essential for my salon, like shampoo, conditioner, and hair dryers, the only avenue left will be shifting these higher prices to my customers, many of whom are the middle-class families that Democrats need to be protecting, not hurting with regressive taxes.

There’s widespread agreement across the country that curbing plastic waste is an admirable goal and essential for the long-term benefit of the country and the world. This proposed effort in the Senate, however, is the wrong way to go about it.

Middle-class Delawareans, including those that I rely on every day for the success of my business, are continuing to struggle. It’s time that the playing field is leveled and the wealthy corporations that don’t pay their fair share are made to foot the bill for key spending priorities. Congress needs to leave this regressive tax on the drawing board where it belongs.

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