Va. Preventing Arlington Plastic Bag Tax?

Arlington Having Difficulty Passing New Legislation

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    Arlington County officials are hoping the state’s complex legislative system doesn't prevent them from implementing new policies next year. One issue on the forefront involves plastic shopping bags.

    County Board members plan to ask the General Assembly for permission to change laws pertaining to the bags, reports the Sun Gazette. Board members want to either ban single-use plastic bags or be permitted to tax them.

    However, this goal may prove difficult.

    Virginia is a Dillon's Rule state, which means that localities have little independent authority. They must go to the General Assembly each year to receive authorization for many of their priorities.

    Frequently, noncontroversial requests -- even those that localities deem important -- get shot down quickly. Arlington officials have a hard time accepting the one-sided relationship.

    "All of us would be better served if local and state governments operate with mutual respect for each other's roles and responsibilities," the county's draft legislative package states.

    A work session with Arlington legislators will be held Dec. 1. Adoption of the legislative package is scheduled for Dec. 11.


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