Bag Tax Rollback Considered In Montgomery County | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Bag Tax Rollback Considered In Montgomery County

Plastic bags may not come with the 5-cent tax if they're not used for food shopping.
Trisha Weir: http://www.flickr.com/photos/novembering/2681270515/
Plastic bags may not come with the 5-cent tax if they're not used for food shopping.

Lawmakers in Montgomery County are considering the possibility of modifying the county's nearly two-year-old bag tax.

The five-cent excise tax on plastic bags given out at stores in the county is designed to reduce the volume of plastic bag litter found in area waterways. Department store owners argue that their customers rarely throw bags in the trash, and almost never bring reusable bags into a department store.

On Monday the Montgomery County Council's transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment committee held a hearing on a bill that would limit the five-cent fee to plastic bags distributed at stores where food makes up more than two percent of the gross sales.

"I don't believe it's reasonable to expect people to bring a reusable bag to a hair salon, into a jewelry store or into a department store. This tax was intended to change people's behavior, and if we're not going to change people's behavior in a positive way but in a negative way and in fact just create resentment, then that's a negative. So I don't think it doesn't work in some stores, but I do think it works in grocery stores and I think we are seeing a change in behavior there," said Councilman Roger Berliner.

Council members admit there is no hard data to support the claims by department store retailers about the use of plastic bags in their stores. Julie Lawson, director of the Maryland Trash Free Alliance, says the bill's dependence on anecdotal information is troubling.

"This bill is being pushed forward by two or three counselors based on their own personal experience, not getting the opinions of 900,000 other residents of the county that they represent," Lawson says.

The bill now heads to the full Council for consideration.

NPR

Mexican TV Icon Roberto Gómez Bolaños Dies At 85

The actor, writer and director was a staple of Mexican television comedies and children's programs for decades.
NPR

From Humble Salt To Fancy Freezing: How To Up Your Cocktail Game

You don't need to have liquid nitrogen at your next cocktail party — but it's certainly a sure-fire way to impress your guests. Expert mixologist Dave Arnold walks you through it.
NPR

Week In Politics: Hagel's Resignation, Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of the New York Times about the grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson and the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
NPR

Millennial Doctors May Be More Tech-Savvy, But Is That Better?

Text messages from your doctor are just the start. Millennials are the next generation of doctors and they're not afraid to say "chillax" in a consultation or check Twitter to find medical research.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.