House Bill 1200

A lawmaker wants to make sure you don’t get taxed for using things like plastic bags and straws.

House Bill 1200 would prevent taxation on those disposable items.

Reporter Nathalie Gomez tells us more about the bill and how it will affect local governments. 

The bill was introduced by representative Dan Ruby… 

“House Bill 1200 is a bill that preempts cities from imposing a ban on auxiliary containers which is defined as plastic bags, cups, containers, straws, various items. ” 

He feels things like these should be regulated on a state level this way it’s the same across the state, but one local councilman in Minot disagrees.

“I don’t want to stifle people who trying to have a voice in their government and I am concerned that, that might be one of the unintended consequences of this bill,” said Minot councilman Josh Wolsky. 

his concern comes because most recently a group of Minot citizens proposed the city to impose a 5 cent fee on shoppers who use single plastic bags. 

“It’s in our control right now and we believe it should remain there,” said Wolsky.

Minot is still considering the proposal.

“Plastic bags are a common site around town because they blow easily they get away from us,” said Wolsky.

Wolsky currently has no stance on the 5 cent proposal but he agrees it’s something that needs to get looked at. 

“I do think there is a willingness to address the cost associated with this,” said Wolsky.

But if House Bill 1200 passes it will not allow local governments to take action regarding disposable items. 

“When a group of citizens brings a concern to their local government or their city council and the authority to address that concern is then pre-empted at the state level I think it sends a wrong message to citizens,” said Wolsky. 

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