Letter:Cathryn Giannini Rice, Leesburg,

Editor: On Jun 16, I submitted an email to the Board of Supervisors stating my dissatisfaction with the plastic bags tax and my frustration with the runaway tax and spending. We have lost sight of the role of government and its infringements on our rights.  


Thanks once again for smacking the little guy down.

Everything you do has harmful consequences as you think you are doing good.

Can’t wait to vote you out of office”

I received a response a half hour later from Supervisors Koran Saines stating:

 “?Do you need some reusable bags? Please let me know, and I can provide some for you.”

In return, I responded to him with the following:

“Thank you for your reply.

Consider the following:

1. You are missing the point.

2. You cannot tax the county out of its problems.

3. Taxing plastic bags will not make the climate cleaner but will put another industry out of business.

4. Do you realize how many industries require petroleum and plastics?

5.  Replying with an offer of bags for me is more an indication that you as a supervisor sees that those upon whom you tax and spend are nothing more than servile subjects to be dismissed.

6. The agenda, hidden or otherwise, you are advocating for, is not the will of the people. Nor does it work. No one wants to be taxed to death, rich or poor.

7. Your job is not to use taxing power to take other people’s money, it is theft, especially due to misguided intent.

8. Your job is to preserve property, protect our lives and secure our liberty, even while we shop.

9. Your job is not to hand out plastic bags.”

Cathryn Giannini Rice, Leesburg,

15 thoughts on “Letter:Cathryn Giannini Rice, Leesburg,

  • 2022-06-17 at 8:37 pm

    I’m probably to the left of Cathryn Giannini Rice politically. However, I do agree with her concerns about Supervisor Saines. He can be quite surly to his constituents. I saw this in his treatment of API speakers at a recent BOS meeting. Mr. Saines might be a very nice person. But he needs to remember he was elected as a supervisor, not as God. Happy Juneteenth Loudoun!

  • 2022-06-17 at 10:10 pm

    Compliments to the letter writer!

    The response she received proves, once again, that our BOS are tone deaf and way out of touch. Kaines can stuff his plastic bags.

    Stop spending OUR money.

    • 2022-06-24 at 3:36 pm

      @ Master Bedroom… “Stop spending OUR money.” News flash. When you paid your taxes, it stopped being your money and became the operating budget for the county. You spend YOUR money when you go shop at Walmart or buy a burger at Wendy’s. “Our” money is being used the way “we” expected it to be when the majority of us elected this board. If you don’t like spending “your” money this way, go give Prince William Co. a try.

      • 2022-06-28 at 12:19 pm

        Every citizen has the right to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction with government spending. Taxes are a compulsory, confiscation of money from citizenry. It is not a voluntary purchase fro Walmart. TownBully is an appropriate name.

  • 2022-06-18 at 10:12 am

    I think the idea isn’t to fatten up the county’s coffers, it is to actively discourage the use of these plastic bags that end up in trees, waterways and everything in between. Wake up…people need to begin making small changes. When there were 25,000 people in Loudoun it wasn’t a big deal. With more than a quarter million, that’s a heck of a lot of bags each day!

    • 2022-06-20 at 9:36 am

      A regressive tax such as this one will, in fact, fatten the county’s coffers AND the bottom line of large retailers since they’re allowed to keep 40% of the “tax” collected.

      You really think this is a good idea?

  • 2022-06-20 at 2:48 pm

    1) My Dear, ’tis you who is missing the point. You wrote your Supervisor complaining about having to buy plastic bags. He offered you a free alternative, you missed the point.

    2)I agree- I don’t think a 5 cent fee per bag will make much of a difference to our county’s coffers

    3) Asking people to pay for plastic bags will reduce their use and will most definitely result in a cleaner local environment

    4) Of course we realize how many industries require petroleum. The modern world depends on petroleum products. Which is why it’s all the more important to use our resources wisely.

    5) You’re reading way into someone’s offer to give you reusable shopping bags. I have plenty of very attractive reusable shopping bags…. Would you like some? I don’t see you as a subject but I do easily dismiss your argument.

    6) Hidden agenda= less trash?

    7) Think of the 5 cents as a fee that you are free to avoid. You know, freedom to make choices? I bet you like freedom?

    8) I agree- I don’t know about you but I’m way more worried about getting shot by some gun nut while shopping? My life and property isn’t threatened by plastic bags, it’s threatened by gun nuts with little pocket constitutions they haven’t actually read.

    9)The Supervisor’s job is to respond to his constituents’ inquiries, no matter how trivial or misguided. I’d say he did his job.

    • 2022-06-23 at 9:57 am

      WholeFoods (mkt cap $1,100B), Harris Teeter (mkt cap $35B), Giant Food/Food Lion (mkt cap $26B) and Safeway (mkt cap $15B) will keep 40% of the “tax” collected. It will fall straight to their bottom lines. AS PURE PROFIT.

      You think these companies really need this?

      Please explain how stealing money from working families is going to make them better off.

    • 2022-06-26 at 7:20 pm

      Very well stated. I am absolutely fine with the “hidden agenda” if it means less trash, cleaner soil, and cleaner water. What would it hurt to accept the supervisor’s offer of free reusable bags? I too am more concerned about the gun nuts out there. Five cents per bag is a small price to pay and it sounds as if there are resources to have reusable bags provided at no cost.

      • 2022-06-28 at 12:35 pm

        However trivial, this is another imposition of government on the lives of its citizens.
        I reuse plastic shopping bags for many things and never litter.
        Now I will likely find other bags that i will likely purchase.
        Again, not a big deal but why is it OK for the government to intrude.
        If people are concerned with litter clean it up……..have the government clean it up……encourage recycling . You can’t ban or tax your way out of litter.
        Where would it end? Ban cigarettes and cigarette butts? Ban fast food because of packaging litter? Ban cans and bottles, cups etc.?
        This tax is another example of people expecting government to solve all problems however trivial, instead of taking personal responsibility and expecting it of others.

  • 2022-06-21 at 8:43 am

    Can anyone argue we should continue accepting single use plastics as OK? How to stop filling up the oceans with this junk and wasting a limited resource (oil) is the challenge. I don’t believe adding an insignificant tax is anything more than partisan fodder but where is our outrage and willingness to stop giving our consumer dollars to any establishment that bluntly keeps pushing single use plastic (straws, bags etc). Do we demand the store give us paper bags? Do we question the restaurant owner about their use of these highly likely to just be permanent pollutants? Are we even concerned about the garbage our own BOS approves to be buried each year? Societal norms is just a polite way of saying we don’t care enough to fix it so we push it to our next generations to do so apparently. How about forcing ALL who produce such non-biodegradable products put a significant return bounty on each so they can be returned just like a deposit can can be? Put the pain where it belongs instead of just pushing more tax dollars to organizations who can’t even figure out how to list their priorities or follow through on previous commitments like widening Route 15 north of Leesburg! 🙂

  • 2022-06-24 at 3:39 pm

    @Ace10.. “A regressive tax such as this one …” LOL! This is not a regressive tax. It’s a consumption tax. And you are free not to consume disposable plastic bags and do so at ZERO cost to yourself. A regressive tax is one that is imposed disproportionately to the income of the taxed and is a tax on something that cannot be done away with (like food or transportation.) Cry me a river that you can’t use your plastic bags, big boy!

    • 2022-06-25 at 11:56 am

      Nearly all “consumption taxes” ARE REGRESSIVE. Duh.
      This is basic, and I do mean basic economics… something that might be taught in an intro class in HS.
      Do you not understand this, or are you trying to deflect away from the issue?

      Your comment about avoiding this tax comes straight from the typical talking points of the elite. Which is sad. Low income folks don’t structure their daily activities like many of us who have cars… who can make a one-stop trip to the grocery store. Or keep a stack of bags in their trunk. So carrying around “reusable” bags may not be an option for them. Or they may simply find it to be an unsanitary practice.

      I noticed that you chose to ignore my beef with 40% of this tax becoming PURE PROFIT to mega corporations. Why is that?

      “Bullies” typically run away when presented with facts. Care to continue?

  • 2022-06-24 at 3:55 pm

    There is so much wrong with the content of this letter. The willful ignorance warrants a response. Let’s go through it line by line, shall we?

    “Consider the following:
    1. You are missing the point.”

    I would submit that the supervisors are precisely on point with this initiative. It is a local adjustment that can be made with little to no cost to those involved with a demonstrable, positive result. Only those unwilling to accept a consumption tax on a “vice” are affected. If you cannot be bothered to stop using plastic bags (or cigarettes or alcohol or anything else subject to a consumption tax) that is a personal problem you have and not something that is the fault of the tax levying agency.

    “2. You cannot tax the county out of its problems.”
    This is not about generating revenue for the county. It is about incentivizing a behavior that many people are apparently to lazy or unconcerned with to do themselves. Be a responsible neighbor and do something good for the rest of us instead of pitching a fit over a non-issue. This doesn’t cost Loudoun taxpayers a single cent if they all conform to the desired behavior. There’s no good reason not to.

    “3. Taxing plastic bags will not make the climate cleaner but will put another industry out of business.”
    It demonstrably WILL make the environment cleaner and remove a wasteful, non-recyclable source of plastic from the waste stream. It also is not about to put any “industry” out of business. Unless Ms. Rice is nothing but a paid shill for the petroleum industry, neither her livelihood nor the dividends of Exxon shareholders will be affected one bit by this consumption tax.

    “4. Do you realize how many industries require petroleum and plastics?”
    Yes. And it’s arguably too many. And what is your point? That we should do nothing about non-recyclable plastic waste because “so many industries require petroleum”? Where’s the linkage here? Do you expect us to believe that the global economy hinges on continued petroleum and plastic use and that the collapse of plastic bag usage in Loudoun Co. is all that it takes to send the global economy into the toilet? SMH.

    “5. Replying with an offer of bags for me is more an indication that you as a supervisor sees that those upon whom you tax and spend are nothing more than servile subjects to be dismissed.”
    Perhaps it was an offer to reduce the hardship one such as Ms. Rice might suffer when confronted with losing a few cents extra for electing to use a plastic bag,rather than bringing her own? Maybe it was a thinly veiled attempt to get Ms. Rice to see the hypocrisy of her position? Maybe Ms.Rice just likes to pollute.Bet she has a F-150 to roll coal in, too.

    “6. The agenda, hidden or otherwise, you are advocating for, is not the will of the people. Nor does it work. No one wants to be taxed to death, rich or poor.”
    There’s no hidden agenda. Stop using single use plastics. There, I said it! And believe me that if it is so burdensome to you to pay a few cents “tax” when you choose to abuse the environment, the point is being made precisely to the sort of person it needs to be made to.

    “7. Your job is not to use taxing power to take other people’s money, it is theft, especially due to misguided intent.”
    On the contrary, it is precisely their job to use tax dollars for the benefit of our community. Unless you think that scattering these plastic bags amongst the tree tops, and storm drains, and windpipes of animals is what they should be doing. I firmly believe that a majority of the people who elected these supervisors see them doing exactly what they were elected to do. What Ms. Rice fails to recognize is that she is a member of a distinct and diminishing minority of people in Loudoun Co. who think that their disdain for their neighbors and for their environment is something all of us agree with her own. Well, I’ll confess disdain for at least one neighbor in this case, for certain.

    “8. Your job is to preserve property, protect our lives and secure our liberty, even while we shop.”
    Exactly what this consumption tax is aimed at accomplishing, Ms. Rice. It seems you might agree after all!

    “9. Your job is not to hand out plastic bags.”
    Well, again, that is your minority opinion. If the rest of us decided that it was a reasonable use of tax payer dollars and supervisor effort, I’m not sure your argument has legs. It’s certainly time better spent than penning ill-informed rants for the local paper to publish so you can feel validated by seeing your name in print.

  • 2022-06-27 at 8:45 am

    Using the logic of the environmentalists on this thread, the BOS should institute a tax on solar panels given the damage their fabrication (copper, silver, silicon and zinc mining) and their disposal will cause.

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