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.