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Bag Tax Passes In Montgomery County

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Montgomery County will start charging 5 cents per bag in 2012.
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Montgomery County will start charging 5 cents per bag in 2012.

The County Council passed the measure 8-1, meaning a 5 cent tax on each paper or plastic take-out bag from nearly all stores will be imposed at the start of 2012.

Council Vice President Roger Berliner said he and his colleagues heard a lot from their D.C. counterparts about the city's own bag tax, implemented in 2010.

"Testimony that our council heard on this perfectly reflected the testimony of Council member Wells and their experience, which was broad acceptance in the environmental community and literally not a peep from our business community," he says.

Berliner says the council's goal isn't to raise money, but to encourage shoppers to use reusable shopping bags.

Council member Nancy Floreen cast the lone dissenting vote, saying that if her colleagues were so concerned about the environmental impact of plastic bags, they should have just banned them outright.

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