Fairfax County considering plastic bag tax at certain retailers

Fairfax County is considering taxing plastic bags used by grocery stores and other retailers, although some uncertainty surrounds how the tax would actually be implemented, a new report says.

According to Reston Now, the Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 Tuesday to direct county staff to draft a plastic bag tax ordinance. 

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The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation in 2020 allowing localities to impose a five-cent tax on disposable plastic bags.

The legislation says that cities and counties can tax each disposable plastic bag provided to customers by grocery stores, convenience stores and drugstores.

Reston Now also reports the Virginia Department of Taxation has not yet released guidelines delineating what a plastic bag tax ordinance should look like. 

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As part of the approved board matter, the county’s public affairs office and office of environmental and energy coordination have been directed to develop a public outreach campaign to gather input from residents and businesses on the proposed ordinance, according to Reston Now.

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