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Report: County Bag Tax Brings $2 Million In Revenue

Montgomery County's controversial bag tax brought in more than double the anticipated revenue, The Washington Examiner reported.

Montgomery County's controversial 5-cent tax on shopping bags has brought in more than $2 million in its first year, The Washington Examiner reported.

The $2.1 million total through November could be pushed to $2.2 million once December numbers come in, county spokesperson Patrick Lacefield told The Washington Examiner.

Projections that the tax would generate about $1 million in the first year were based on Washington, DC's, first year (2011) with the tax, according to the report. DC's system has brought in less money than expected as people brought their own bags to stores.

“This is not a revenue generator for us,” Leggett explained last year. “Montgomery County’s budget is about $4.6 billion, so a million is hardly a revenue source that is going to make a difference in Montgomery County. 

The Montgomery County bag tax took effect on Jan. 1, 2012, and was intended to reduce the number of plastic bags in county waterways. Funds from the tax go toward solid waste management, watershed restoration, litter pick-up and stormwater management.

Read the full story on bag tax revenue on The Washington Examiner.

SPEAK OUT: One year after the bag tax took effect in Montgomery County, where do you stand on it? Do you pony up the extra change to pay for your bags each time you shop or do you bring your own reusable bags? Tell us in the comments!

tce January 31, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Wow... more tax money. Still, I wonder how the grocery stores close to the county borders are doing with their bottom line. I know I am spending much more, if not most, of my food budget in Howard County now (Harris Teeter, Wegmans!) or the Giants in PG.
Jonathan Bernstein February 01, 2013 at 05:31 PM
It's been easy to change habit to bring bags for grocery shopping, great that there's such a large supply and variation for reusuable bags. Probably a bit harder for many folks to change habit for other kinds of shopping.
jag February 01, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Indeed, it looks like everyone uses reusable bag for grocery shopping these days. It's as easy as pie and is actually quite a bit better considering the size of reusable bags. What used to be an unwieldy 5 plastic bags full of chips, bread, and cereals all fits into 1 or 2 reusable bags now.
Patti February 02, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Two thoughts - first, I use reusable bags, but I hope people understand the health hazards of reusing bags and cross contamination of food - particularly raw meat and raw veggies. I also ask for my raw meat to be put in separate bags I use only for raw meat. Some cashiers/baggers are better at honoring my request than others. As for other types of shopping, on Black Friday, at Kohls, they were not charging for bags - I had brought my bags - and carryout at Squisito does not appear to charge for bags, but I am not sure, since I don't get an itemized receipt. Are these businesses absorbing the bag fee? How exactly does this work? I also remind my self when I am shopping outside Montgomery County that I don't need to take a bag in with me.

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