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Montgomery County Legislators To Discuss Limits On Five-Cent Bag Tax

Montgomery County imposed the five-cent bag tax in 2012, but is now debating scaling it back.
Trisha Weir: http://www.flickr.com/photos/novembering/2681270515/
Montgomery County imposed the five-cent bag tax in 2012, but is now debating scaling it back.

The Montgomery County Council will hold a hearing this evening on a bill that would limit the scope of the county's five-cent tax on plastic and paper bags.

The county implemented a the 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.

But a bill introduced by Council members Roger Berliner, Nancy Floreen and Craig Rice would limit the tax to stores where the sale of food makes up more than two percent of gross sales by dollar value. As a consequence, many retail stores would be exempted from the tax, as would take-out restaurants.

According to a staff report, the change could affect a majority of the county's retailers: of 1,100 retailers that have paid the tax since it went into effect in 2012, only 120 are considered food stores. Still, those food stores are responsible for 62 percent of revenue from the tax. The report states that the county could expect a 38 percent decrease in expected revenue from the change, from $1.8 million $1.1 million in 2014.

In D.C., any store that sells food—whether a supermarket or a department store—is required to charge five cents per bag given to customers.

The hearing will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Rockville.

NPR

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Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says

Companies cultivating a healthful image often list "evaporated cane juice" in their products' ingredients. But the FDA says it's really just sugar, and that's what food labels should call it.
WAMU 88.5

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Donald Trump now has enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination, according to the Associated Press. A State Department review criticizes Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. And 11 states sue the federal government over a transgender bathroom directive. A panel of journalists joins guest host Sabri Ben-Achour for analysis of the week's top national news stories

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After Departure Of Uber, Lyft In Austin, New Companies Enter The Void

Earlier this month, voters in Austin, Texas, rejected an effort to overturn the city's rules for ride-hailing companies. Uber and Lyft tried to prevent fingerprinting of their drivers, and now both have left town. A few other ride-share companies have popped up to help fill the void. NPR explores how people are getting around town without Uber and Lyft.

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