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Plastic Bag Ban Fee Goes "Bye, Bye" In Brownsville

Brownsville, Texas - City leaders have agreed to stop the $1 plastic bag environmental fee in Brownsville.

This comes after a legal back and forth with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

October 2016, Brownsville, was slapped with a lawsuit claiming, "No local government has the authority to violate Texas law just because it feels like it."

The lawsuit claims the $1 per bag 'environmental fee' is an illegal sales tax.

However, the ordinance could all change in less than 2 weeks.

Mayor Tony Martinez and City Attorney Mark Sossi have negotiated with the state to cut the fee in an effort to keep plastic out.

Brownsville Public Information Officer, Roxanna Rosas explains, “Upon their [Attorney General’s Office] approval of the proposal and their signature. Then [Brownsville] will have 30 days to amend our ordinance locally.”

The back and forth has been over the city collecting money and using the funds to pay for city environmental projects and sanitation equipment.

The Attorney General argued, Brownsville, cannot tax for a plastic bag.

According to the city, the ordinance is not a tax, it's a fee for the bag.

And it is a choice for the consumer, plastic or not to plastic.

In previous reports, Executive Director at Healthy Communities of Brownsville, Rose Timmer who drafted the original ordinance hopes the “clean” habit will keep consumers away from plastic bags.

The city is welcoming feedback from residents at their next city council meeting.

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