Bill to clip credit card fees on taxes collected by Colorado stores

Sales taxes would be exempt from the transaction fees retailers are charged each time a consumer uses a credit or debit card under a bill introduced at the Colorado legislature.

In what would become the first law of its kind nationally if passed, House Bill 1154 aims to trim the fees processors charge retailers for letting customers pay with plastic.

Known as interchange or swipe fees, they can be as high as 3 percent of the total purchase amount, including the sales tax.

Retailers argue the assessment is an unreasonable cost — and profit to the banks — because they're charged for collecting and remitting a government tax.

"Taxes are for the benefit of the public good, not so credit card companies and payment networks can make more money off them," said Grier Bailey, government affairs manager of the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association, which represents convenience store owners and fuel stations.

The bill is sponsored by representatives Jon Becker, R-Fort Morgan, and Alec Garnett, D-Denver, and Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, and has an array of bipartisan co-sponsors.

Though the state pays retailers 3.33 cents for every sales-tax dollar they collect and remit on time, Colorado's other taxing bodies — from municipalities and counties to special tax districts — do not.

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