Retailers would have to charge shoppers a nickel for each disposable carryout bag they now give away, whether paper or plastic, if a bill from Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, makes its way into law.
The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the Senate’s omnibus tax bill, which Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, will introduce in the second half of the session.
For each nickel stores would be required to charge for a bag, they would keep one penny for themselves. If they provide a BYOB credit, they would get to keep a second penny to help pay for it.
My big question is, what if I buy five items and say I want them each put in their own bag? Would I get a 25-cent credit? What if the bagger puts my items in four bags, but I want them to go in two? Who decides?
Another question: My city requires recyclable items to be sorted in paper shopping bags before being placed in the recycling bin for pickup. Would I get a credit from the city for having to buy these bags?
The other pennies would have to be turned in to the state as tax revenue, and they would have to apply for a disposable bag tax permit from the state in order to offer them in the first place.
Stores who give a credit to customers who BYOB would have to give it to them, regardless of what type of bag they use — reusable, plastic or paper. Likewise, the tax would apply to any disposable bag, whether paper or plastic.