Carryout Bag Fee
Beginning January 1, 2023, some stores* in unincorporated La Plata County will be required to collect a $0.10 fee on each single-use plastic or recyclable paper carryout bag provided to the customer. The store must then remit 60% (or $0.06) of the collected fee to La Plata County, while the business can retain the other 40% (or $0.04).
*Store means a grocery store, supermarket, convenience store, liquor store, dry cleaner, pharmacy, drug store, clothing store, or other types of retail establishment at which carryout bags are traditionally provided to customers. Certain small stores that operate solely in Colorado, have three or fewer locations, and are not a part of a franchise, corporation, or partnership that has a physical location outside of Colorado, do not have to collect the carryout bag fee.
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Why does La Plata County charge a fee for carryout bags?
In 2021, the Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 21-1162, requiring stores to collect a ten cent ($0.10) fee for providing a recycled paper carryout bag or a single-use plastic carryout bag to a customer. Stores located in Unincorporated La Plata County must collect and remit the fee on a quarterly basis to La Plata County. La Plata County did not initiate this fee.
How much is the carryout bag fee?
The fee is ten cents ($0.10) on every carryout bag provided. Of the ten cents ($0.10) fee, 60% of the fee is remitted to La Plata County, and the store retains the remaining 40%.
What types of businesses must collect the carryout bag fee?
Retail stores must collect and remit the carryout bag fee. A store means a grocery store, supermarket, convenience store, liquor store, dry cleaner, pharmacy, drug store, clothing store, or other types of retail establishment at which carryout bags are traditionally provided to customers.
Certain small stores that operate solely in Colorado, have three or fewer locations, and are not a part of a franchise, corporation, or partnership that has a physical location outside of Colorado, do not have to collect the carryout bag fee.
Are there types of bags not included in the bag fee?
A bag fee does not apply to some bags, such as those used to package bulk items, produce, meat, fish, medications, or laundry/dry-cleaning/garment bags.
When does the fee start?
A store must collect the carryout bag fee starting January 1, 2023.
How can customers avoid the carryout bag fee?
Shoppers can avoid the bag fee by bringing and using their own reusable bags.
Does everyone have to pay the carryout bag fee?
The carryout bags fee does not apply to a customer that provides evidence to the store that the customer is a participant in a local, state, or federal food assistance program.
Everyone else, including tax-exempt organizations, such as governments or other 401(c)(3) organizations, must pay the fee if the store provides them with a carryout bag.
When does the ban on single-use plastic bags go into effect?
Beginning January 1, 2024, the act prohibits stores and retail food establishments from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. However, the prohibition does not apply to inventory purchased before January 1, 2024, and used on or before June 1, 2024.
What is the store's requirement for providing carryout bags for a fee?
Stores must show the total amount of fees charged for the carryout bags provided on the receipt and display a sign inside or outside the store alerting customers about the carryout bag fee.
Is the store required to use their portion of the carryout bag fee on specific programs?
No, HB21-1162 does not dictate how the store spends its portion of the carryout bag fees.
When is the first return due?
While HB21-1162 states the first return is due starting April 2024, fees collected in 2023 are still due to the County. Therefore, we suggest remitting the carryout bag fees beginning in April 2023.
What are the return due dates?
Stores must remit a return every quarter. Returns are due on the 20th day of the month following the close of the quarterly filing period. The return is due the next business day if the 20th is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
Is there a minimum amount that has to be sent in?
HB21-1162 states that a store does not have to remit the carryout bag fees collected in any quarter in which the collected fees total less than twenty dollars. However, the store is still required to mail a return stating that less than twenty dollars was collected and has to remit the fees on the next quarterly remittance.