On February 6th the Howard County Delegation in Annapolis voted to move the Howard County Bag Tax bill forward.
Before the final vote on the bill an amendment was added on how the money can be spent (environmental purposes or implementation and enforcement of the fee)…basically so that they can not just use this money for whatever purpose in the General Fund. The vote was (9 – 1) in favor of adding this amendment (best I could tell…they raised their hands in favor and then against…I did not have a good view of Delegate Ebersole in the video).
Votes on the amendment:
Yes: Hester, Guzzone, Lam, Watson, Miller, Terrasa, Feldmark, Pendergrass, Ebersole
Not in attendance for this vote: Atterbeary, Kittleman
After discussion on the amendment they moved on to vote on the full bill. Here are those votes:
Yes: Hester, Lam, Guzzone, Watson, Ebersole, Feldmark, Hill, Terrasa, Atterbeary, Pendergrass
No: Miller, Kittleman
Here is a video of the session (via Facebook page of Delegate Terri Hill): The bag tax discussion is early in the video.
So this outcome was not what I was hoping for and this will now moves into committee. Once the bag tax bill has been moved into committee and has a bill number I will be putting out an update and watching its progress.
This was the first big step in the bag tax coming to Howard County…there are many more steps to go before this becomes a reality…but this is the one that gets the ball rolling.
If against this bill…be sure to follow the updates and reach out to your legislators sooner rather than later…or be OK with paying a little extra money to the county when you go shopping in this county when you accept a bag from a store at checkout.