New York City Paper Receipt Ban

NYC Council Weighs Banning Paper Sales Receipts

Transcript of Video:

Bill: … banning paper receipts? That’s what the New York City Council will consider. Bills would require stores to let consumers decline a paper receipt in favor of an e-receipt, to recycle receipts, and to use alternatives to receipt paper.

Bill: Bill sponsors say the majority of paper receipts are coated with harmful chemicals. California tried to do the same thing earlier this year, but the initiative failed in committee.

Bill: Let’s bring in tonight’s A-Plus panel. We’re joined by Republican strategist Jeanette Hoffman. Good to see you, Jeanette.

Jeanette H.: Thanks, Bill.

Bill: And Democratic strategist and attorney, Bill Caruso. Good to see you, Bill.

Bill Caruso: Hey Bill.

Bill: Bill, I’ll start with you on this. This is not imminent. I mean, it’s just in the discussion phase, they’re going to have committee hearings, et cetera. It would be a big deal, and it sounds like, with the level of bills they’re talking about, potentially impose a huge unfunded mandate on small business.

Bill Caruso: Perhaps. I like this proposal, for two reasons.

Bill Caruso: Number one, it will keep their attention on this, and nothing else, hopefully. They can just focus on this right now, go after these horrible receipts.

Bill Caruso: And moreover, on a personal level, I’ve gone to CVS and I’ve bought something there, a pack of gum or something, and got the receipt. And it’s six miles long and there’s nowhere to put it in your pocket. So many they should just focus on making them smaller.

Jeanette H.: I hate this.

Bill: All right, tell me why, Jeanette, because I get the long receipt thing-

Jeanette H.: I hate this proposal.

Bill: … but something there are coupons on the long receipt that you can use.

Bill Caruso: I never use them-

Jeanette H.: Sure, and why should government tell businesses what to do with their receipts, first of all? It should be the businesses’ choice, and it should be the consumers’ choice, too. This policy is actually… it penalizes the less fortunate, who don’t have access to emails, right… or access to computers, and the elderly. What if you want to return something? You can’t access your email if you don’t have access to a computer.

Bill: Is this another solution in search of a problem?

Bill Caruso: Of course it is-

Bill: I don’t understand what the problem is with receipts.

Bill Caruso: Go back to my first point, though. Let them go hash this one out.

Bill Caruso: But by the way, back to this other point, some of these receipts now are not useful. I do the same as you do. I have receipts around and then I can jot notes down on them, but you can’t even write on these things anymore because of all the chemicals on them. So-

Jeanette H.: But who cares? Don’t we have bigger problems-

Bill: You’re not eating it.

Jeanette H.: … in New York City?

Bill Caruso: No, no, I’m trying to write on it.

Bill: I mean, you’re not licking the receipt, for the chemicals, right? Like I mean-

Bill Caruso: No, not usually.

Bill: Let me ask you this, though. What about small business owners and independent contractors, et cetera, who save these receipts so that they can prove something to the IRS if they’re taking a deduction, or turn in an expense report, if you work in the corporate world?

Jeanette H.: Absolutely. There’s real value to printed paper receipts. And I don’t know why the New York City Council feels like they need to regulate every single business and the way that they process their receipts. It’s absolutely insane.

Bill: You know what it is? They’ve solved every other problem, so they need something to do.

Jeanette H.: Yeah, exactly.

Bill Caruso: They’re bored.

Bill: Thanks, guys.

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