Small Business Applauds Signing of Bill to Stop "Bag Tax"

Date: December 30, 2016

NFIB applauded the signing of Senate Bill 853 into law by Lt. Governor Brian Calley this week. The bill, now Public Act 389 of 2016, was passed in the lame duck legislative session last year and puts a stop to attempts by local governments to tax, ban or otherwise regulate plastic bags and other disposable containers within their jurisdiction.

“It is unfortunate that we have to enact laws like this,” said Charles Owens, NFIB/Michigan State Director. “However, too many cities, townships and counties in Michigan are looking for ways to grow their government and tax revenue at the local level and have been passing laws and ordinances that are outside the venue of local governance.”
Owens said that Washtenaw county had already passed an ordinance that would apply a ten cent tax on every plastic bag used at a retail establishment and Muskegon county is also looking at a similar law that would ban stores from giving plastic bags to customers and/or impose a fee for each plastic or paper bag they distribute.

In response to these local ordinances, Senator Jim Stamas introduced Senate Bill 853 that would prohibit local governments from enacting these kinds of laws. The bill was passed by the legislature on December 1 of this year and sent to the Governor for final approval.

“While we agree that local control in most cases is a desirable goal of good governance, too often local governments see it as a way to grow bureaucracy and taxation at the local level rather than be of service to the citizens in their jurisdiction,” said Owens. “This situation is a classic case of local overreach that creates a patchwork quilt of inconsistent regulation. It is a detriment to the hard work done by the Governor and our legislature to bring Michigan back from a hostile business climate to one that is now competitive on the national stage.”

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