HB 1034 Clean the Streams and Beautify the Bay Act of 2011
House Environmental Matters and Economic Matters Committees
March 11, 2011
SUPPORT WITH AMENDMENTS
The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, as the voice of Montgomery County business, supports House Bill 1034 which would impose a 5 cent tax on paper or plastic bags in retail stores.
A program such as this has been very successful in the District of Columbia, resulting not only in revenue of approximately $2 million, but also a reduction in bag usage of approximately 80 percent. Most importantly for our members, in a recent survey, 78 percent of business owners in D.C. reported either no change to their business or a positive impact on their business. Only 12 percent of business owners reported a negative impact on their business.
We support an amendment that would direct funds raised in local jurisdictions back to those jurisdictions for the express purpose of funding water quality efforts. For example, Montgomery County currently faces a burden in meeting the requirements of its new MS4 permit. The demands of meeting these new water quality mandates will take significant resources, and revenue from the bag tax could go directly to support Montgomery County and other jurisdictions in their water quality programs.
For these reasons, we recommend a favorable report, with amendments on HB 1034.