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Montgomery County Looks To Scale Back Bag Tax

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Residents of Montgomery County have shown they aren't quite ready to give up plastic bags just yet.
Trisha Weir:
Residents of Montgomery County have shown they aren't quite ready to give up plastic bags just yet.

Later today, a bill will be introduced in the Montgomery County council that will scale back the county's tax on plastic bags.

The county implemented a 5-cent tax on disposable plastic bags, much like D.C.'s, at the start of 2012. It included bags not just at grocery stores, but also at retail outlets that didn't sell food.

The bill councilmembers Roger Berliner, Nancy Floreen, and Craig Rice will introduce today would limit the tax just to food stores, and also repeal the tax on plastic bags used for take-out food. In the past, Berliner has said he thinks the tax was not intended for bags given out at department stores where shoppers purchase larger items like bedding and cookware.

The county collected more revenue than forecast during the first year of the tax — $2 million instead of the $1 million estimate — a sign that shoppers weren't quite ready to abandon their plastic bags for re-usable ones.

A public hearing on the bill in scheduled in June before the council.


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