Arizona Lawmaker Challenges Bisbee Grocery Bag Tax

Published: Monday, October 2, 2017 - 10:12am

A state lawmaker in Mesa wants to end a plastic bag law in Bisbee.

For the past four years, Bisbee has imposed a nickel-a-bag tax on disposable grocery bags to conserve and recycle in the southern Arizona town.

But, Republican Warren Petersen has filed a complaint with Attorney General Mark Brnovich to stop the restriction using a state law passed last year, which specifically prohibits local governments from using fees or taxes to regulate bags or other “auxiliary containers.”

Bisbee councilman Douglas Dunn pointed out the irony in Peterson’s plan to interfere with what the town calls as a “highly successful program.”

"I just can't believe that our Legislature, they have so much concern about overreach of the federal government, they have no concern about overreach into local government,'' Dunn said.

The Attorney General has 30 days to decide if Bisbee’s ordinance is illegal. If so, he could order the state treasurer to withhold Bisbee’s state aid.

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