Montgomery County’s hotly-contested bag tax netted $154,000 in its initial month, according to a report by The Gazette.
Approximately 3.8 million bags were taxed, but County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) told The Gazette the county needs more data to understand whether the tax is meeting its goals.
"We need more data beyond the first month, maybe a few months to a year," Leggett told The Gazette. "People are still getting adjusted to it."
According to the report, January’s bag tax revenue sets the county on pace to receive $1.8 million in 2012 if the first month’s numbers are maintained.
The bag tax was originally approved May 3, 2011, and the county expected to earn up to $1.5 million from the tax in the first year. This money will go to the Water Quality Protection Fund (WQPF), which covers stormwater management, watershed restoration and litter clean-up.
“The executive has said repeatedly that the county does not view the tax as a revenue stream for the Water Quality Protection Charge fund—where the money will go—but rather a program to curtail waste and encourage the use of reusable bags,” according to The Gazette.
The bag tax was proposed in March 2011 to encourage residents to use reusable bags and keep plastic bags from littering the environment, however a poll of Patch readers in October revealed 74 percent of Montgomery County residents do not view the bag tax as “eco-chic”.
For more information on the Montgomery County bag tax’s first month, read The Gazette’s full report.
Have you softened your stance on the bag tax or do you still strongly oppose it? Tell us in the comments!