How is the ten cents ($0.10) fee monitored?
A retail store must record on a customer’s receipt the number of disposable bags (plastic, paper, or other material including but not limited to compostable material) provided to a customer and the total amount of fees charged for each type of bag. The bag fee cannot be included as revenue for the purposes of calculating sales tax to the customer.
The city reserves the right to request that a retail store make its records available for compliance audits and can assess penalties for failure to comply with the ordinance.
Anyone can report stores that may not be compliant with the Fee on Disposable Bags by filling out the Bag Fee Citation Appeal Form.
How and when do store owners report and remit the fees they collect?
Stores must pay the city six cents ($0.06) of each bag fee collected. Although this is not a tax, retailers are encouraged to submit the fees online using the same system that they report their sales taxes at www.denvergov.org/ebiztax/. The Bag Fee account type will be added to your existing profile which also includes Sales Tax and Occupational Privilege Tax. Bag Fees are due quarterly.
What type of information are stores be required to report?
Stores will be required to report the number of disposable bags distributed, itemized by bag material type and total fees due.
What happens to the portion of the bag fee kept by stores?
Stores keep four cents ($0.04) of each bag fee, and may only use the fee to cover the cost of:
- Providing educational information about the bag fee to customers
- Developing and displaying informational signage to inform customers of the fee, encourage use of reusable carryout bags, or promote recycling of disposable bags
- Training staff on the implementation and administration of the fee
- Improving or altering infrastructure to allow for the implementation, collection, and administration of the fee
- Providing FREE reusable carryout bags to customers
- Improving infrastructure to increase disposable plastic bag recycling
Can a store use their portion of the bag fee to provide free reusable carryout bags?
Yes. A store may use their portion of the fee to provide free reusable carryout bags, which are defined by Denver’s Revised Municipal Code as bags that:
- Are specifically intended for multiple reuse
- Made of cloth, fiber, or other fabric or material that can be cleaned and disinfected regularly, and must be machine-washable
- Have handles
- Cannot be made from a plastic film where thickness is measured in mils
- Have a permanent tag identifying the name of the manufacturer, the material used to manufacture it, and location (country) where it was manufactured
- Can carry twenty-two pounds (22) or more and be used one hundred twenty-five (125) or more times
What happens to the portion of the bag fee proceeds kept by the city?
The city may spend its portion of the bag fees on administering the bag fee program and public information programs focused on reducing the use of disposable bags and other single-use products, including providing free reusable bags to the community. Monies may also be spent to address the impact of single-use products on the city’s environment and drainage system through community cleanups, infrastructure, and equipment.
The Fee on Disposable Bags is not a tax and none of the proceeds can be used for other non-related government expenses.