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Originally published August 18, 2009 at 10:13 PM | Page modified August 19, 2009 at 12:16 AM

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Voters reject disposable-bag fee

Seattle's plastic bag fee went down in big numbers. The most tax-friendly voters in the land said no to a fee that just made people feel picked on and overwhelmed.

FORGET the adage that Seattle voters never met a tax or fee they didn't like. They finally encountered one they could not abide: the 20-cent disposable-bag fee.

In a way, Tuesday's resounding defeat of the bag fee makes sense. This editorial page endorsed the fee for its considerable environmental benefits, but one can understand voters putting their hands up in the air to say, enough already

Nine times out of 10, if you ask earnest, environmentally minded Seattleites to adjust their behavior to benefit the community, they will do their part. Voters nixed the fee because of its nanny-like quality. Many voters also understood the burden of the fee would fall heavily on the poor.

Seattleites are among the most tax-friendly citizens in the land. Over the years, they approved a strong majority of tax increases for housing, education, transportation — you name it.

The vote is a repudiation of Mayor Greg Nickels and the City Council, which approved the fee until citizens forced the referendum.

The majority of Seattleites will still switch to canvas bags. They get the message. They rejected the perceived unfairness of the 20-cent fee.

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