Montgomery County bag tax stays – for now

WASHINGTON – There was an effort to change bag taxes in Montgomery County but, for now, it’s on hold.

The vote was 2-1 on a Montgomery County council committee: change the 5 cent bag tax and restrict it to stores that sell mainly food, like grocery stores.

Normally, a committee recommendation would move on to the full council, but County Council Member Roger Berliner says that changed after a phone call from Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.

He’s “asking that perhaps we take our time…and so I’m taking all that into account before asking that it be scheduled,” says Berliner.

Originally, the county’s tax was designed to reduce the number of plastic bags in area waterways.

Part of the logic for a change is that most of the bags that appear to end up in area streams and waterways come from grocery or food outlets, but the Council memo on the bill concedes there’s no hard evidence for that assumption.

For the time being, it will still cost 5 cents for any plastic bag, including at big box and clothing stores.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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