Colorado lawmakers propose 25-cent plastic bag tax for affordable housing

Plastic Bag Sales Tax in Colorado-

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two Colorado lawmakers are hoping to combat the state’s growing housing affordability problem by putting a tax on plastic bags at grocery stores.

House Bill 18-1054, introduced Jan. 10 and sponsored by state Rep. Paul Rosenthal and state Sen. Lois Court, proposes a 25-cent tax for plastic bags used at large stores. The tax would cover any amount of bags used during that transaction.

While no hearing has been scheduled yet, the bill will be debated by the House Appropriations Committee. If it makes it through the chambers, it would then go to voters on the November 2018 ballot.

It's not the first time a bag tax has been introduced, but a statewide effort in 2009 failed to pass.

The bill says the idea’s first intent is to funnel money into state programs that help Coloradans obtain affordable housing. But it also aims to clean up the environment, saying the tax will “provide an incentive for people to use more environmentally friendly alternatives.”

The tax revenue, after administrative costs for the program, would be deposited in the housing development grant fund.

If the tax is approved, it would begin on Jan. 1, 2019.

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