Hilex Poly Appeals Prop 26 Decision
As expected, Hilex Poly appealed the superior court decision in the Prop 26 case regarding LA County's plastic bag ordinance. So far only a Notice of Appeal has been filed. The superior court decision denied Hilex Poly’s Writ – thereby upholding LA County’s plastic bag ordinance. The Court found that the 10-cent charge on paper bags was not a tax under the California Constitution because the retailers keep all of the money collected pursuant to the ordinance, and even if the paper bag charge was a tax it would fall within the first exemption to Prop 26.
As mentioned in a previous post, here’s a great summary of the case from LA County’s Opposition brief:
This lawsuit is a last ditch effort by the plastic industry to invalidate a Los Angeles County ordinance banning plastic bags from the unincorporated areas. Orchestrated by Hilex Poly, a large plastic bag manufacturer in South Carolina, Petitioners’ contend that the subject ordinance is an unconstitutional tax measure under Proposition 26, premised upon the County’s “deputizing” of retail stores as the County’s tax collector. Petitioners hope to persuade the Court that one provision in the ordinance is an illegal tax on paper bags and as a result, the entire ordinance should be stricken. Ironically, Petitioners do not manufacture paper bags; rather, their motivation in the lawsuit is the hope that this Court will take the the extraordinary step of invalidating the entire ordinance including its provision banning plastic bags. If that happens, Petitioners return to selling plastic bags in the County’s unincorporated areas, while the County, its taxpayers, and the environment, shoulder the burden resulting from the negative impacts of plastic bag litter. (p. 2)
Along with this tidbit – also from LA County’s Opposition brief:
The Complaint for Writ of Mandate also names four “taxpayers,” most of whom appear to make, sell or distribute plastic bags. Lee Schmeer and Salim Bana are employees of Hilex Poly. (p. 2, fn. 2)