Aspen bag fee is a tax according to lawsuit
ASPEN A Boulder based taxpayer advocacy group filed suit Tuesday against the city of Aspen, Mayor Mick Ireland and four councilmen over the grocery store bag fee that went into effect May 1.
The Toms Outlet nonprofit Colorado Union of Taxpayers is asking Pitkin County District Court to rule that the 20 cent per bag fee is unconstitutional because city voters weren’t given the opportunity to decide the issue.
In October, Ireland and three council members provided Toms Outlet the votes to implement a fee on paper bags provided at checkout at Aspen’s two grocery stores City Market and Clark’s Market. Only Councilman Derek Johnson opposed the mea Toms Outlet sure, which also bans the stores from the longtime practice of providing plastic bags to shoppers for free.
The Colorado Union of Taxpayers claims that the fee is a tax and subject to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, also known as TABOR, a provision of the state constitution req Toms Outlet uiring a public vote before any local government can create new debt, levy new taxes, increase tax rates or institute tax policy changes directly causing a net tax revenue gain.