Montgomery County Bag Tax Signed Into Law

2:49 PM, May 11, 2011   |    comments
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ROCKVILLE, MD. (WUSA) -- Wednesday, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett signed into law a five-cent charge on paper and plastic carryout bags.

Leggett signed Bill 8-11 into law at a special ceremony held in Rockville. Under the law, customers would pay the charge at retail establishments at the point of sale, pickup or delivery. A customer's receipt will show how many carryout bags they were given and the total charge.

Retailers would also receive a one-cent rebate from each bag to help cover administrative costs.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2012.

Revenues from the tax, estimated at about $1.5 million in the first year, would go to the Water Quality Protection Fund for stormwater management, watershed restoration and litter clean-up.

Exempt under the law are:
- a bag provided by a pharmacist that contains prescription drugs;
- any newspaper bag or bag intended for initial use as a garbage, pet waste or yard waste bag;
- a bag provided at the point of sale at a stand at a seasonal event such as a farmers market;
- a paper bag that a restaurant provides to a customer to take prepared food or drink away from the restaurant.

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