Plastic bag tax to hit Fredericksburg shoppers on January 1

Buyers filling their orders at Fredericksburg grocery stores will soon have to pay for plastic bags.

Today, the city announced that it will start taxing retailers five cents for each disposable plastic bag used from January 1, 2022. The new tax is expected to reduce the number of disposable plastic bags in the city, have said the leaders.

In stores that pass tax on to their customers, shoppers must pay for bags at the point of sale, much like when retailers charge sales tax. Grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies are responsible for paying the new tourist tax.

The tax does not apply to plastic bags containing meat, products, waste or animal waste. Fredericksburg city council members began discussing the tax last summer.

“It is high time for us to take this step. Plastic bags are just one step in the process. It’s not hard to pick up new habits if you’re not already there, ”Kerry Devine, At-large City Council member, said at the September 14 city council meeting, when City Council said. voted unanimously to adopt the tax.

Devine encouraged shoppers to bring reusable plastic bags. Devine added that some of the tax money the city collects from the new tax would be used to purchase reusable bags for residents.

Stores in Central Park, a regional shopping center located within the city limits of Fredericksburg, will be responsible for paying the tax.

Today, the city issued a press release on the new tax.

A tax on disposable plastic bags goes into effect Jan. 1 in the city of Fredericksburg.

Last year, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation authorizing the new tax of 5 cents per disposable plastic bag supplied to retail customers by grocery stores, drugstores and convenience stores. Fredericksburg City Council passed the tax earlier this year to take effect Jan. 1 in an effort to reduce the use of single-use, disposable plastic bags in the city and promote the use of multi-use bags sustainable by retail and food service establishments. This initiative is an extension of the future state desired by the city council for a green and clean environment in which “Fredericksburg is a responsible and modern city with a quality of life guaranteed by thoughtful environmental management”.

Tax will be collected at the point of purchase, similar to sales taxes, and will be administered and enforced by the Virginia Tax Commissioner in Richmond.

Large big box retailers such as Walmart or Target will be subject to tax if they contain a grocery store, convenience store, or drugstore. No retailer will be subject to tax solely because they have a limited number of snacks and beverages available for sale at the cash register. In addition, according to the state code, the tax will only apply to retailers who maintain regular hours of operation at a fixed place of business in the city.

Retailers will be compensated for the costs of collecting and remitting the tax by withholding a portion of the tax collected. Until January 1, 2023, retailers subject to the tax will be able to keep 2 cents for every 5 cents collected. After January 1, 2023, this discount will be reduced to 1 cent per bag.

The 5 cent tax will not apply:
• Durable plastic bags intended for multiple reuse
• Bags that are only used to wrap ice cream, meat, fish, poultry, produce, unpackaged bulk foods or other perishable foods to avoid damage or contamination.
• Plastic bags used for dry cleaning or prescription drugs
• Bags that are packaged and sold for use as trash cans, animal waste or leaf bags

State law requires that all revenue from this tax be used for environmental clean-up purposes, offering education programs designed to reduce environmental waste, mitigate pollution and waste, and provide reusable bags for beneficiaries of the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or for women. , the benefits of the Infant and Child Program (WIC).

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