a renewed chance for a bag tax
Both the House and Senate have scheduled committee votes this week on measures (HB 1034 and SB 602) to require retail stores to charge a five cent fee on disposable paper and plastic bags. Revenue would go to the Chesapeake Bay Trust to help clean streams and beautify the bay. But collecting taxes isn’t the aim of the measure; getting people to stop using the bags that litter local streets and waterways is the goal. And, as Washington’s experience shows, a small fee does encourage people to change their habits. has turned everyone’s head,” said Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D Montgomery), who has joined with Del. Alfred michael kors australia C. Carr Jr. (D Montgomery) to push the Clean the Streams and Beautify the Bay Act of 2011. The District’s law went into effect in 2010 and, despite initial worries, was generally well received by consumers and the business community. The first year saw an 80 percent reduction of disposable bags, from 270 million to 55 million. Retailers, which have to spend less on bags and which receive a portion of the revenues, reported either positive or no effect on their businesses. And organizations devoted to the cleanup of the Anacostia River say they have noticed a difference in litter making its way to the waterway. Oppositio michael kors australia n to the bill has been muted, coming mainly from bag manufacturers.
Mr. O’Malley, whose administration opposed the bill last year, now embraces it and said he will michael kors australia sign it if given the chance. Also boosting the bill’s prospects is critical support from Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D Clinton). No doubt the fact that Prince George’s and Montgomery counties have signaled interest in enacting their own measures is helping state law michael kors australia makers to see the handwriting on the wall.