The Howard County Bag Tax Bill (known as: “Howard County – Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags Ho. Co. 04-19”) is moving forward…and now has a house bill number associated to it…HB 1166. The bill was introduced into committee on February 8th.

The summary of this bill reads “Authorizing Howard County to impose, by law, a fee on certain retail establishments for the use of disposable bags as part of a retail sale of products; limiting the amount of the fee to not more than 5 cents for each disposable bag used; defining “disposable bag” as a plastic bag provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale; requiring the county to use certain revenue only for a certain environmental purpose or the implementation, administration, and enforcement of the fee; etc.

This bill is currently in the Environment and Transportation Committee…here are the members of that committee:

Click to view page with this information

Here is your fun fact of the day…not one member of this committee is from Howard County…so a committee without representation from this county will decide if this bill moves forward…I just thought that was an interesting fact.

Another fun fact…the Chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee is from Montgomery County…a jurisdiction that already has a bag tax…so we can probably guess what might happen with this bill already…but I am still holding out hope that enough legislators will be concerned that their counties will be next…and will vote no on this bill…that is my hope at the moment.


Stay tuned…as this moves forward…I will continue to provide updates.

Scott E


  1. Do we know what counties the members live in?if they are in Montgomery like the Chair, they will approve. This county is changing…and not for the better. Over development, lack of infrastructure to support it, over crowded schools, uptick in Carnes, “rain tax” even though Hogan abolished it, and now a bag tax. Other states are looking more attractive since our taxes are not going towards the citizens or communities.

  2. A few years ago, I stopped in the hardware store in Burtonsville. It was the first time I experienced the $ 0.05 bag tax. After that, I avoided buying things in Montgomery county.

    It is not so much the money but it just feels insulting to pay 5 cents for a plastic bag.

    If Howard Co establishes a $ 0.05 bag tax, people will make an effort to buy in Balto Co, Carroll Co, and Anne Arundel Co.

    Furthermore, more and more people carry into the grocery store there own fabric bags. So, what ever amount Howard Co. council thinks they will receive, cut that amount in half.

Comments are closed.