An attempt to give Prince George’s County lawmakers the authority to impose a 5-cent fee on disposable shopping bags has died in Annapolis.
The bill, backed by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), the Prince George’s County Council and a majority of the county’s delegates and senators, fell one vote short of a majority Saturday in the House Environmental Matters Committee.
“It is dead,” said committee member Doyle L. Niemann (D-Prince George’s), who had backed the measure.
The measure would have given the county the authority to impose the fee, with the approval of the council and the executive.
Many Prince George’s officials are skittish about being associated with any fee or tax increase. The county has operated since 1978 under a voter-imposed property tax cap known as the Tax Reform Initiative by Marylanders (TRIM), which requires voter approval or authorization from the General Assembly to override it.
The General Assembly this year approved a measure that would allow a TRIM override if the money is needed for public education, a move that riled some county activists and officials who called it a backdoor attempt to kill TRIM without putting it before the voters.