Baker tes­ti­fies in fa­vor of PG County bag tax

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro -

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.

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