2018 Bills

SB 192: Plastic Bag Tax

This bill was never voted on by the Senate or House.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it violates our principles and must therefore be opposed.

Sponsored by Senator Jani IwamotoSenate Bill 192 punishes consumers by taxing single-use bags given out by retailers for their customers. If enacted, each bag would have a 10 cent fee added. SB 192 also creates burdens for retail businesses by requiring them to provide the state with more tax information on this program.

The revenue gained from this tax increase—exceeding $16 million per year—would be spent on a number of different government efforts to encourage environmentally friendly actions.

Although this tax increase may seem insignificant for some, these prices could be extremely burdensome to lower-income Utahns who would be most affected by this tax. Those who walk or use public transportation rely on using bags for carrying items home from the store, so forgoing them is not an option.

Stepping into a business that voluntarily provides a free product to their consumers as a reward for shopping in their store is an overreach of government control. This may negatively affect local businesses, especially at a time when more and more people are turning to the convenience of online shopping rather than in-store spending.

  • Ursula Jochmann

    I’m shocked you are against this. The idea is to get people to bring their own bags because the single use bags are traumatizing our environment. If one cannot afford to buy multi-use bags, which can be very inexpensive, many people give these bags away. And if this bill were to pass, I’m sure the environmental groups will be out in full force giving multi-use bags away. For the sake of our planet, please reconsider!

    • Curtis Jewell

      If the store themselves charged the fee, it would be fine. The problem is the idea of government forcing every store to do it.

    • Jim S.

      “The Planet” is not being destroyed by plastic bags.

      Taxing plastic bags is simply a way for government to steal more money for itself. Nothing more.

    • Jim S.

      Something else I just thought about, Ursula: Those re-usable bags you love so much are notorious for carrying bacteria in them, unless you wash them regularly. Washing, by the way, uses lots of water and detergent, which gets washed downstream. Which is worse?

  • Jim Fields

    Freedom means being able to choose. This is merely another ruse to further fill state coffers from taxpayers pockets.

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