A bill that would have created an additional burden on small business owners was defeated by the Senate Finance Committee last month.
Senate Bill 925 would have imposed a 5-cent tax on disposable plastic bags provided to customers by retailers. Grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores would have been affected, and the tax would not have applied to durable, reusable plastic bags with handles; plastic bags used for ice cream, meat, fish, poultry, leftover restaurant food, newspapers, or dry cleaning; bags used to carry alcoholic beverages or prescription drugs; and bags sold in packages for garbage, pet waste, and leaf removal. Retailers would have been allowed to keep a penny of the tax to help with the process of collecting it.
Although well-intentioned—the tax revenue was targeted for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, which seeks to reduce pollution in the bay and other waterways in the area—it makes running a business more difficult. NFIB/VA and retail business groups opposed the bill.