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Bag Bill Wins Key Vote in MD House

Skip bag, Save the river

Skip bag, Save the river

Prince George’s County’s House delegation voted Friday to approve a 5 cent countywide bag tax, advancing the legislation to a House committee, according to the Washington Times.

“The delegation voted 12-9 in favor of the proposal, which will now be heard by the House Environmental Matters Committee. The vote came as something of a surprise, after the proposal had previously received an “unfavorable” report from a six-member committee within the Prince George’s delegation.” – Times reports.

The bill now moves to the Environmental Matters Committee of the House, and then to the floor of the full House. For local bills like this one, those votes are usually a formality, as the current legislature prefers to support the counties’ wishes.

The county’s senators must also support the bill, but it passed easily last session and no senators are known to have changed their position, Greater Greater Washington’s Julie Lawson reports.

In the version of the bill passed by the delegation, grant partial property tax exemptions to some economic development projects. The owners of eligible projects would receive a partial waiver on the county real property tax and would instead make an annual payment to the county.

The amount of the payment would at least be equal to the sum of the taxes on the property before construction or rehabilitation began and 25 percent of what the new real property tax would have been, according to the bill.

The tax exemptions could last up to 15 years, and could not be applied to projects that involve gambling activities.

College Park City Council voted to support the bill last month.

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