Carryout Bag Fee

In 2021, the Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 21-1162. Effective January 1, 2023, stores in unincorporated Larimer County must charge $0.10 per disposable bag at the time of sale. Beginning January 1, 2024, the act prohibits stores and retail food establishments from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers.

Beginning January 1, 2023, stores in unincorporated Larimer 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 Larimer County, while the business can retain the other 40% (or $0.04).
 

Please feel free to use any of the following items for display in your store.

Retailers must file a carryout bag fee return quarterly using this form, even if the retailer did not collect over $20 in carryout bag fees and will not be submitting any money. Returns are due on the 20th day of the month, following the reporting quarter. The return is due the next business day if the 20th is on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

  • 1st Quarter (January-March): April 20th
  • 2nd Quarter (April-June): July 20th
  • 3rd Quarter (July-September): October 20th
  • 4th Quarter (October-December): January 20th

The following stores are exempt from collecting the Carryout Bag fee.

  • If they solely operate in Colorado; AND
  • There are 3 or less locations in Colorado; AND
  • Is not part of a franchise, corporation, or partnership, that is located outside of Colorado.

If you feel your store should be exempt, you can download and fill out our Exemption Application Form here.

LINKS, FORMS AND RESOURCES:

FAQs

  1. 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 Larimer County must collect and remit the fee on a quarterly basis to Larimer County. Larimer County did not initiate this fee.

  2. 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 Larimer County, and the store retains the remaining 40%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. A store must collect the carryout bag fee starting January 1, 2023.

  6. Shoppers can avoid the bag fee by bringing and using their own reusable bags.

  7. 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. 

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. No, HB21-1162 does not dictate how the store spends its portion of the carryout bag fees.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

Larimer County Court House 4-17-2020

Finance Director

Address: 200 W. Oak St., Suite 4000 Fort Collins, CO 80521
Phone: (970) 498-5930  |  Fax: (970) 498-5942
Hours: 7:30am - 4:30pm Monday-Friday (Except Holidays)
Email: blockcl@larimer.org