OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6313

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TAX ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC AND PAPER BAGS.

SUMMARY

Starting October 1, 2017, this bill requires certain retail stores to charge customers at least 5 cents for each single-use carryout bag the stores provide or sell to them. Money from bag fees must go to the revenue services commissioner, who must deposit the funds into the General Fund's maintenance, repair, and improvement account for state parks (see BACKGROUND).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

STORES THAT MUST CHARGE FOR SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAGS

The bill applies to the following stores:

1. a full-line, self-service retail store with gross annual sales of $2 million or more that sells a line of dry groceries, canned goods or nonfood items, and some perishable items;

2. a store with at least 10,000 square feet of retail space that generates the state sales or use tax; and

3. a convenience store, foodmart or other entity that sells, at retail, (a) a limited line of goods, generally including milk, bread, soda, and snack foods or (b) goods meant for off-premises consumption.

SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAG

Under the bill, a “single-use carryout bag” is (1) made of plastic, paper, or another material; (2) provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale, customarily without a fee; and (3) not 100% recyclable. The following bags are not considered single-use carryout bags under the bill:

1. a bag provided (a) by a pharmacy to a customer buying prescription medication or (b) to contain unwrapped food; and

2. bags without handles (a) used to protect a purchased item from damaging or contaminating other purchased items when placed in a 100% recyclable bag, compostable bag, recycled paper bag, or reusable bag or (b) designed to cover articles of clothing on a hanger or a newspaper.

BACKGROUND

Maintenance, Repair and Improvement Account

By law, this is a separate, nonlapsing account in the General Fund. Money deposited in the account comes from rents paid to use state parks for special events, such as weddings and receptions. The account may also receive money from private and public sources, including the federal or municipal governments.

The account contains separate subaccounts for each state park from which rents are collected. The energy and environmental protection commissioner may use this money to maintain, improve, and build structures on, or repair the property of, the state park for which the subaccount was established. Money in this account supplements, but does not replace, state funds appropriated for the general operation of state parks (CGS 23-15b).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

19

Nay

10

(03/01/2017)