This afternoon, with bipartisan support, the Ohio House concurred with the Senate’s changes to House Bill 242, also known as the “Commerce Uniformity Bill.” HB 242 protects consumers and businesses by prohibiting local governments from imposing a tax, fee or ban on disposable plastic bags and other containers. This statewide preemption would stop the development of a cumbersome patchwork of local ordinances that would negatively impact Ohio businesses and consumers.
Local ordinances that impose a tax on these containers result in added costs that directly impact the bottom line for many businesses, both large and small. During the current pandemic, auxiliary containers have become vital to the operations of many companies. Grocery stores are doing an increased volume of business, and many restaurants have switched over to takeout and delivery models to make up for lost revenue. Auxiliary containers, such as grocery bags, to-go containers and food packaging, are crucial to keeping these businesses afloat so that they can focus on providing food for Ohioans in a safe and responsible way. Regulations banning or taxing these products would only serve to make business operations more difficult in a global pandemic.
Although the Senate amended the bill to sunset 12 months from its implementation, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce is still supportive of the House’s concurrence vote and looks forward to Governor DeWine’s signature.