Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 1:25 PM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Montgomery proposes 5-cent bag tax

By Michael Laris

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett proposed a 5-cent bag tax Monday that would apply to nearly all retail establishments, not just stores that sell food, as is the case in the District.

Leggett's proposal would cover “any supermarket, convenience store, shop, service station, restaurant or any other sales outlet where a customer purchases goods,” according to legislation language released Monday. His proposed law would take effect in January, and would need to be passed by the county council.

Officials say tens of thousands of stores will be covered. They’re estimating $1.5 million in revenue the first year.

Exceptions would include a bag from a pharmacy for prescription drugs; newspaper, garbage or pet waste bags; bags at farmers markets; and a paper bag for carrying prepared food from a restaurant, according to the legislation.

By Michael Laris  | March 7, 2011; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: UDC students protest school president
Next: Obama, Australian PM visit Va. school

Comments

I see the stupidity of the District is creeping across the boundary. As it is, I shop in MD just to avoid/protest this nonsense tax in DC.

Posted by: PepperDr | March 7, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I told you guy many, many times. Maryland Democratic Politicians never seen the tax they didn't like ...or won't raise.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | March 7, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Another Liberal tax on taxpayers and workers. Just where is MD gonna spend the money--anacostia? LOL. Whatever, the actual amount raised will end up being less than Half. Just what DC found out. Now they want to raise it to 10 cents to make up for the revenue that never was. Idiot lawmakers elected by idiot voters.

Posted by: espnfan | March 7, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

It's a darn shame that every noble idea that works will be perverted by money grubbing politicians. The bag tax was originally for Anacostia clean-up... Speed cameras were originally for safety... Now they're just revenue generators. Shameful!

Posted by: shadeau | March 7, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

It's a darn shame that every noble idea that works will be perverted by money grubbing politicians. The bag tax was originally for Anacostia clean-up... Speed cameras were originally for safety... Now they're just revenue generators. Shameful!

Posted by: shadeau | March 7, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Ike Legget, Shame on you. You're a miserable man and you stink at your job.

Posted by: FiatBooks | March 7, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Liberal re tar ds in action, if you don't approve of something, tax it, then ban it, then claim you are progressive and tolerant while imposing your BS on everyone else.

Posted by: scoran | March 7, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

This proposal only affects those who are too lazy to carry re-usable bags with them. People have been ditching grocery bags for re-usable canvas or plastic bags for a long time and in many places throughout the country, so I'm sure people in Montgomery County will adapt. Lots of the re-usable plastic bags fold up, so they're easy to keep in a car, purse, or backpack. In other words, if you don't want to see Montgomery County take your money, use re-usable bags. Pretty simple.

Posted by: ACitizenofMaryland | March 7, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I say let it pass. It is a ridiculously burdensome tax on business and the kind of tax that can really anger the average taxpayer. Normally the taxes are as unreasonable but less objectionable. Then, with everyone upset, we will be able to vote the idiot out.

Posted by: tbarry2 | March 7, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I say let it pass. It is a ridiculously burdensome tax on business and the kind of tax that can really anger the average taxpayer. Normally the taxes are as unreasonable but less objectionable. Then, with everyone upset, we will be able to vote the idiot out.

Posted by: tbarry2 | March 7, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

So, according to most of these posts this tax is terrible because it means they'd have to use reusable bags.

Sounds horrible, I don't know how you'll function in your day to day life having to carry around a few bags in your car. What will you do? OOOOOOOOOO man, what if you're in the mall and you make a spontaneous purchase from Hollister, you'll have to pay an additional 5 cents on top of that 35 dollar tee-shirt you just bought. ARG, crazy out of control democrats trying to create a cleaner less garbage filled world.

Posted by: rderr27 | March 7, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

So, according to most of these posts this tax is terrible because it means they'd have to use reusable bags.

Sounds horrible, I don't know how you'll function in your day to day life having to carry around a few bags in your car. What will you do? OOOOOOOOOO man, what if you're in the mall and you make a spontaneous purchase from Hollister, you'll have to pay an additional 5 cents on top of that 35 dollar tee-shirt you just bought. ARG, crazy out of control democrats trying to create a cleaner less garbage filled world.

Posted by: rderr27 | March 7, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I can almost see a bag tax on groceries; but if they are going to tax every stinkin' thing, why don't they just be honest about it and raise taxes? And at the cost of those tiny reusable bags the stores sell, customers get it either way. Most of those plastic bags fall apart so fast, they certainly aren't worth 5 cents.

Now the question is, what am I going to use to wrap the meat scraps and cat barf in?

Posted by: cb11 | March 7, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

So, according to most of these posts this tax is terrible because it means they'd have to use reusable bags.

Sounds horrible, I don't know how you'll function in your day to day life having to carry around a few bags in your car. What will you do? OOOOOOOOOO man, what if you're in the mall and you make a spontaneous purchase from Hollister, you'll have to pay an additional 5 cents on top of that 35 dollar tee-shirt you just bought. ARG, crazy out of control democrats trying to create a cleaner less garbage filled world.

Posted by: rderr27 | March 7, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

So, according to most of these posts this tax is terrible because it means they'd have to use reusable bags.

Sounds horrible, I don't know how you'll function in your day to day life having to carry around a few bags in your car. What will you do? OOOOOOOOOO man, what if you're in the mall and you make a spontaneous purchase from Hollister, you'll have to pay an additional 5 cents on top of that 35 dollar tee-shirt you just bought. ARG, crazy out of control democrats trying to create a cleaner less garbage filled world.

Posted by: rderr27 | March 7, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

So, according to most of these posts this tax is terrible because it means they'd have to use reusable bags.

Sounds horrible, I don't know how you'll function in your day to day life having to carry around a few bags in your car. What will you do? OOOOOOOOOO man, what if you're in the mall and you make a spontaneous purchase from Hollister, you'll have to pay an additional 5 cents on top of that 35 dollar tee-shirt you just bought. ARG, crazy out of control democrats trying to create a cleaner less garbage filled world.

Posted by: rderr27 | March 7, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey rderr27, you might want to learn how that fancy interwebs works.

Posted by: futbolclif | March 7, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Leggett's got to pay for his limo/SUV and security guards somehow ...

Posted by: postisarag | March 7, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I've been using reusable bags since 2008 and I haven't looked back. They're sturdy and hold a lot more than the flimsy plastic variety. People are still griping about not being able to smoke in indoor public venues.

Posted by: jab00 | March 7, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm totally fine with a DC-styled bag tax because (GASP!) I bring my own bags and always have one in the car. Stop yer whining. There's a lot less "bag ghosts" in trees since DC passed the law. If you don't bring a bag is 5 cents gonna kill you? Gasoline goes up and down 5 cents a gallon per day...

Posted by: DJMonet | March 7, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Is Leggett going to tax the used cardboard boxes that Costco gives away? Costco doesn't provide bags.

Posted by: postisarag | March 7, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

So all of you who support the bag tax think it is better to carry around germ infested bags that will contaminate everything you buy?

Posted by: twugofski | March 7, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Bring your own REUSABLE bag, and you don't pay a thing! If all goes well this week, the Clean the Streams and Beautify the Bay Act of 2011 will pass the MD legislature and all single-use plastic and paper bags will carry a 5 cent fee to go to the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The bag fee in DC has been extremely successful - plastic litter has decreased significantly, businesses SAVE money by not having to purchase bags, and shoppers learned very quickly that it is easy to remember and use reusable bags. Everyone wins.

Posted by: sydneyjacobs | March 7, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Currently if I bring my own bags to Giant, I get a small discount ($0.03 or $0.05 per bag, something like that) off my bill, but if the plan is to start taxing if you don't bring a bag, does that mean the discount goes away? Or will I save on both ends? Somehow I doubt that!

Posted by: sissyp | March 7, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The most immediate result is to stop the automatic double bagging that goes on today. This alone will prevent a lot of litter that ends up in my yard.

Posted by: fineman | March 7, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Fine by me. At least this tax is avoidable, as long as you are responsible.

Posted by: UnexpectedOutput | March 7, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

At least the District implemented this tax in the name of cleaning the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers...is this just a revenue generator for MoCo?

Posted by: clydet42 | March 7, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Think about this! It's not the 5 cents that is the problem. Studies show that reusable bags are loaded with e-coli and all sorts of other bacteris. So before you get so excited about reusing bags--either plan to wash them frequently or possibly suffer the consequences of getting very sick. My vote is to suck up the 5 cents a bag and stay healthy.

Posted by: EA5wEtKn | March 7, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

And how do they plan on collecting this tax?
Many of the stores I shop in have self checkouts (Super-fresh) or (better) hand-held scanners (Giant) where not only do you bag yourself, many times you can pick up bags at the front of the store and bag as you go around. Will they defeat the purpose of the speed of the self checkout by having someone come over to verify how many bags you took?

Posted by: YehudaK | March 7, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The bacteria-in-reusable bags is a nonsense argument devised by industry opponents to scare people. You are more likely to get e-coli infection from touching door knobs than from reusable bags that are washed occasionally. The environmental damage of plastic bags is ultimately more hazardous to your health.

Posted by: sydneyjacobs | March 7, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Awesome old Ike must have found another illegal alien program to pay for. Rob the legal tax paying citizens to pay for it. If you want people to stop littering enforce our laws. Stop rewarding people for breaking the law. Stop giving jobs and benfits to illegal aliens. Give jobs to legal tax paying citizens and our budget deficit will go down instead of constantly going up. You tax these plastic bags and the amount of trash in and around MOCO and MD will quadruple. Me and millions of other Marylanders use these bags to collect our trash (line smaller trash cans). Without these bags you will have a bunch of lose trash blowing around the neighborhood. It will also cut down on the amount of recycling. I use these bags to collect my recycling. When they get full I dump the recyclables in the recycle bin and also recycle the bag. Without these bags I will throw my recyclables directly in the trash. I refuse to make 16 trips a day up and down the stairs to put the recycles in the bin.

Posted by: Enforceourlaws | March 7, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Ike and our utterly stupid council is fiddling while Rome burns.

Our roads are falling apart upcounty as Ike and his gang of idiots decide on how best to welcome illegals to the county, and to build private bathrooms.

I wish he would go back to the land of stupid, where he could be king.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 7, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

My concerrn is how this impacts charity thrift shops. Many of these use donated plastic bags so they can maximize the funds that go to the charity.

As for the comments earlier about litter and the fact that plastic doesn't break down, in the UK, some stores only use biodegradable bags that do break down in a few months. Perhaps instead of a tax, there should be incentives to do the right thing.

Posted by: manda1 | March 7, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

My concerrn is how this impacts charity thrift shops. Many of these use donated plastic bags so they can maximize the funds that go to the charity.

As for the comments earlier about litter and the fact that plastic doesn't break down, in the UK, some stores only use biodegradable bags that do break down in a few months. Perhaps instead of a tax, there should be incentives to do the right thing.

Posted by: manda1 | March 7, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for this. If it helps the environment and generates a little revenue on the side, it is a win win. The tax is completely avoidable for those wishing to not pay it.

Also, just wipe down your reusable bag every month or so with a Clorox wipe and problem solved.

Posted by: bilbo070 | March 7, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Screw that tax. Grocers, sell bags, five for a penny. Have Leggett stick it where the sun don't shine.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | March 7, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Better yet, rent the bags, five for a penny!

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | March 7, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm taking deep breaths, while that's still untaxed.

Posted by: Rob_ | March 7, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

More taxes and nanny-statism in Montgomery County...winning

Posted by: Gus_Baker | March 7, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

This is just another backdoor way to raise revenue. Our county politicians should be focused on the projected $300 million projected deficit for FY12, not this kind of minutiae.

Posted by: MrBethesda | March 7, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

The problem with this is that it is half-steppin'. Let's institute a REAL revenue raiser: droit de seigneur. The state won't do the honors (it does that to you every stinkin' day) but let residents bid for the privilege in lieu of the king. Now THAT will raise revenue. And it will promote chastity.

Hold on -- Ike Leggett's at my door. And he's asking for my daughter...

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 8, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Every time I see Leggett on the news he's proposing a higher tax, last week it was gas, now it's this. What's next?

Posted by: loved1 | March 8, 2011 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Best way to save is called collective buying!!! search online for "Printapons" every day a local business will be featured and prices will be discounted upto 90% off

Posted by: edithcstone | March 8, 2011 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Give Rev. Ike a break....he needs to renovate his $70,000 rest room.

Posted by: priveye | March 8, 2011 4:59 AM | Report abuse

BAG Ike Leggett. This is a regressive tax on families, even those who diligently reuse and recycle every bag.

Oh, notice how they exempt newspapers... kinda like the plastic bags the Gazette (owned by the Washington Post Co) comes in every week (even though I never asked for it and never open it). We wouldn't want the press coming out against this now would we?!?

Posted by: afpre42 | March 8, 2011 5:20 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Enforceourlaws. Without paper bags from the grocery store I will just need to dump paper directly in my recycling bin. It will be great when I empty my paper shredder.

If reusable bags cost $10, I can use 200 regular bags before I am out my $10. Seems that is the better option than carrying around a dirty sack.

Posted by: pyoung66 | March 9, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

plastic Bags should be banned from Montgomery County, like they are in SF. No bag tax, and it helps the environment.Then everyone would be forced to bring their own bags. Heck, you might even see Hecht company shopping bags reappear in local malls.

My SuperFresh gives me a small rebate everytime I use my Elizabeth Haub Foundation reusable bags. A cool way to save a little money and help the environment.

Remember if this passes, if you buy a taxable item, say for a $1, you will be paying an equivalent of an 11 percent tax.
6 cents for the item and 5 cents for the bag. This is totally insane. Double shame on you, Ike. Maybe you should instead charge a dollar a vehicle for entrance to the county recycling center. That makes as much sense as your bag tax.

Posted by: ziggyzippy | March 10, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company