Fairfax considering five-cent tax on plastic bags

Virginia

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County is considering placing a five-cent tax on plastic bags but wants to hear from the public on Sept. 14 before they vote on the potential new law.

The County said the new tax’s purpose isn’t to generate revenue but would be an effective way to incentivize residents to use fewer bags.

Last year, the Virginia General Assembly gave local governments the authority to implement bag taxes, as long as they pour the funds into environmental cleanup programs, pollution and litter mitigation programs and others.

If the public is in favor of the program, Fairfax wants to implement it in January of 2022, giving retailers one year of authority to keep two cents of the tax before their share drops to one cent in 2023.

“The clock is ticking against many of our local businesses and if we are to administer this, or authorize this, we want to do it as soon as possible so that the businesses can also make the transition and can keep some of those collections to help pay for them as they transition,” said Fairfax County Board Chairman, Jeffrey McKay.

If approved, Fairfax would be the second County in the Commonwealth to add a bag tax.

Residents can register to speak in-person or over the phone for the public hearing. To learn more, click here.

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