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Department of Taxation Releases Draft Guidelines for Local Plastic Bag Tax

On June 25, the Department of Taxation released draft guidelines for administration of the plastic bag tax, which was authorized in legislation that passed in 2020 (localities are authorized to impose the tax by ordinance, beginning January 1, 2021).  The legislation provides that the tax will be administered by the Tax Commissioner in the same manner that the retail sales and use tax is administered, and requires the Tax Commissioner to develop and make available guidelines for implementation of the tax.

The draft guidelines are available at

Comments on the draft may be submitted to Steve Klos, Policy Analyst at the Department of Taxation, at by July 15.  This process is being used to develop the final draft guidelines that that will be subject to the 30-day public comment period through the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall  after publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations.

VACo Contacts:  Katie Boyle, Joe Lerch, AICP, and Chris McDonald, Esq.

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