Portland Bag Fee Carries Sales Tax Burden

The City of Portland’s ordinance to charge a 5 cent fee on paper and plastic bags at grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies goes into effect in April 2015. In addition to the 5 cent fee which the retailer gets to keep, Maine Revenue Services has ruled that the 5 cent fee is subject to the state sales of 5.5 percent and therefore must be collected and then remitted to the state. We have asked the City of Portland for further guidance on this ordinance as well as the second ordinance to ban certain polystyrene food containers.