Baker testifies in favor of PG County bag tax
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III urged state lawmakers Tuesday to give his county permission to institute a 5 cent bag tax.
Mr. Baker, a Democrat, told the House Environmental Matters Committee that a tax on paper and plastic bags at grocery stores and many retailers would greatly reduce pollution and littering in neighborhoods and waterways in the county.
The county’s House delegation narrowly approved the proposal this month. It now must go through the full House and Senate.
Prince George’s law requires state approval for any new local taxes.
Opponents argue a bag tax will take money from residents and prove especially harmful to low-income residents who already struggle to buy groceries.
Mr. Baker downplayed the bill’s revenue impact and said county officials are prepared to distribute thousands of reusable bags in low-income communities to help residents get acclimated.
If approved, Prince George’s would join Montgomery as the only Maryland counties to institute a bag tax.