Online shipping

Proposal would add New York online shipping surcharge

It’s the season of online shopping. But what if every time you ordered something online for delivery, you had to pay extra?

“It would definitely impact what I buy, I would probably go to more stores in person,” said an Upper East Side shopper.

That’s one of the goals of the legislation introduced by Brooklyn Assemblyman Robert Carroll: to encourage more people to buy locally. But Carroll says his proposal to set a $3 per order fee for each online delivery in New York has additional benefits.

“It’s to incentivize people to buy local and incentivize that,” he said, “It’s also to say ‘hey, online delivery has a cost, there are multiple trucks, truckloads of delivery in my neighborhood every day, there are tons of cardboard and plastic.”

Essentials like food, medicine and diapers would be excluded from the surcharge, but everything else would be fair game. Carroll says the proceeds would go to the struggling MTA.

But New Yorkers are wondering if discouraging stay-at-home shopping during the pandemic is such a good idea, and others just don’t want the state interfering in their spending.

Carroll says the fee is a small price to pay to give our city a boost

“It’s going to help save these small businesses, help save our transportation system, and actually I think make New York City a little more livable,” Caroll said, “And it’s going to make people think before they click.”

Carroll introduced the legislation in January and plans to reintroduce it in the new year. He thinks he will have support given the need for creative solutions to New York State’s massive budget deficit.