County executive says controversial move still needs more time
After some members of the County Council said the County 5- cent tax on plastic and paper bags is not working to reduce bags, County Executive Ike Leggett said the fee needs more time
After the fee passed in 2011 to reduce the number of bags that end up littering the County’s streets and streams, the number of bags distributed at stores has actually increased since it became effective in 2012.
According to County statistics, the number of bags distributed at County stores averaged 4,340,438 a month in fiscal year 2012. In fiscal year 2017, the average has increased to 5,532,770 a month. Both averages were taken over five-month periods.
“I think it is having an impact, maybe not the impact we anticipated,” Leggett said of the bag tax.
At least one county council member thinks controversial bag tax should end
At least one county council member says it may be time to bag the county’s controversial bag tax.
More than five years since the County’s 5-cent tax on plastic and paper bags passed, bag use in the County has gone up not down, contrary to politicians’ promises.
Despite the effort to reduce the number of plastic bags that end up littering the County’s streets and streams, County data shows a significant increase.
Residents of Montgomery County pay multiple taxes justified in the name of the Chesapeake Bay, including a “bag” tax, a flash tax and water quality charge. Well-intentioned residents who genuinely would like to preserve the bay would be hard-pressed, however, to explain how all that money has made a difference.
The 5 cent tax on paper and plastic bags to which Montgomery County residents have grown accustomed has generated nearly $8 million since it took effect in January 2012.
County Executive incumbent Ike Leggett won the Democratic primary on June 24 and will face Republican Jim Shalleck in November.
“There are no overriding huge issues that go to the core of where we are at a county, there are always challenges, there are always things that you can improve, but I don’t think there is anything that people can look at and say Montgomery County has fallen significantly short,” Leggett said.