City Council to Consider Asking Lawmakers to Tax Plastic Bags - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

City Council to Consider Asking Lawmakers to Tax Plastic Bags

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UPDATE: At their Monday meeting, Charlottesville city councilors approved their legislative wish list for the General Assembly, which included a proposal to put a nickel tax on plastic bags. To read the full list of proposed legislation, click here.

The choice between paper or plastic could cost you in Charlottesville. Monday, City Council will consider asking lawmakers to put a nickel tax on plastic bags.

Charlottesville City Council is requesting that the 2014 General Assembly session includes a proposal for a plastic bag tax. Council is calling for lawmakers to introduce a bill similar to one that got stuck in last year's session. It sought to impose a five-cent tax on disposable plastic bags used to pack up purchases at grocery, convenience, or drug stores.

Charlottesville's Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos says a few extra pennies can change people's environmental habits.

“You do have an option. You can bring a bag, most of the time. So the occasional time you find yourself without a bag and it costs a nickel, it doesn't have to be that big of deal,” said Szakos.

“While I can afford it, I won't do it - on the principle of the thing,” said Jackie Roe, who shops at Reid’s Super Save Market.

The bill proposed last General Assembly session would allow retailers to keep part of the tax collection if they have a customer bag credit program. The rest of the money would go into the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund.

City Council will review the bag tax as part of its list of legislative requests during it’s Monday meeting starting at 7 p.m.

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