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Leggett Opposes Changes To Montgomery County's Bag Tax

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As lawmakers in Montgomery County consider possible modifications to the area's bag tax, the county's executive is speaking out against the measure.

The bill under consideration would exempt stores that don't draw at least two percent of gross receipts from the sale of food. If passed, Best Buy wouldn't have to charge five cents for every plastic bag given out, but Target would.

County Executive Ike Leggett says he's opposed to any measure designed to modify the current law, calling the move premature.

"We've had the bag law in Montgomery County [for] a little less than two years and I think right now we need to do a more thorough evaluation of the law to make sure that it's working as intended, and that we're reducing waste — which I think we are," he said.

Some department store retailers complain their customers simply don't use recyclable bags the way grocery shoppers do, and that could hurt business. Leggett insists the occasional five cents spent for a plastic bag could help the county save money.

"What is the harm in that five cents if it helps defray the cost the county is now spending which is over $4 million to pick up trash along the roadside?" he asked.

This week, a Council committee voted 2-1 to send the bill to the full Council for consideration.

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