The Howard County Bag Tax Bill (also know as HB 1166-2019:
Howard County – Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags Ho. Co. 04-19) made another step forward yesterday in the Maryland Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee as it received a favorable report. This almost guarantees that this bill will move forward to a full Maryland Senate vote where it will pass (as it did in the Maryland House of Delegates 99 to 38).
I came across this news via social media:
As of this morning…the actual committee votes are not listed on the General Assembly website…but I will be sure to publish that information as soon as I can get it.
Article update: The final vote in committee was 7 to 3 with 1 member excused:
On a local note: Maryland State Senator Clarence Lam voted yes on the Howard County Bag Tax Bill in this committee.
Some special interest groups will tell you this is a big win and will make SIGNIFICANT reductions in the number of plastic bags in our community…I will continue to remind folks of this data…in Montgomery County the number of plastic bags leaving stores and being taxed are higher today than they were in 2013.
This punitive tax on the shoppers in Howard County that has a goal of “changing the behavior of shoppers” will not really reduce the number of plastic bags leaving stores here in Howard County year after year…but will be a BIG revenue source for the county…just as it has become for Montgomery County:
If the elected officials and special interest groups were serious about removing plastic bags from our environment they would be advocating for a plastic bags ban instead of this punitive money making tax on shoppers. I would support a ban that would force stores to provide another option…but never this TAX on the shoppers.
Stay tuned…I will report out when the Maryland Senate (most of which do not have this tax in THEIR jurisdictions) passes this bill to allow our County Council to move forward with a local bill to tax us and generate funds that can be used for “AN ENVIRONMENTAL PURPOSE”…because there is no way that limiting it to that definition that things could go wrong with the revenue generated.