Contingent on prior voter approval, if a store that meets certain criteria provides any plastic shopping bags to a customer, then the store is required to collect a tax of 25 cents from the customer. The tax is the same regardless of the number of bags provided as part of a transaction, but does not apply if the customer is enrolled in the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program. The store is required to remit the tax revenue to the department of revenue (department) after keeping 1% of the taxes to cover the store's collection and remittance expenses. The department may require a store to make returns and payments electronically.
To comply with the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR), a ballot issue about the plastic shopping bag tax is referred to the voters at the November 2018 election. If the voters reject the tax, then the entire article containing the tax is repealed. If the voters approve the tax, then the tax will be imposed beginning January 1, 2019.
The tax revenue is deposited in the general fund via the old age pension fund. Then, an amount equal to the department's administrative expenses is transferred to the newly created plastic shopping bag tax administration cash fund and the remainder of the tax revenue is deposited in the housing development grant fund. The division of housing in the department of local affairs is required to use the money in the housing development grant fund for the existing purposes of the fund, which is to improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable housing in Colorado.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)