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Colorado Senate Approves New Paint Recycling Tax

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(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

DENVER (AP) — Household paint sold in Colorado would be subject to a new tax to fund a statewide paint recycling program under a bill approved Friday by the state Senate.

The Senate voted 18-15 to make Colorado the eighth state to require paint manufacturers to develop recycling or take-back programs.

The paint take-back programs would be funded with a new per-gallon tax on household paint. The size of the tax wasn’t specified, but should be nominal, supporters said. The tax would begin in 2015.

Three states that currently charge paint stewardship taxes — California, Connecticut and Oregon — charge 75 cents a gallon, up to $1.60 for 5 gallons of paint. Four other states have approved paint stewardship taxes but haven’t started collecting them yet.

Leftover paint is currently handled locally by government-run household hazardous waste programs, with funding that varies by county. Colorado’s major county and municipal group supported the paint tax bill.

“It’s actually usually the No. 1 product that ends up with the household-hazard programs that the local governments do,” said Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton and sponsor of the bill. “We’re going to be able to ease the local governments.”

The measure would require paint manufacturers to establish enough take-back sites so that 90 percent of Coloradans have one within 15 miles of their homes.

Senate Republicans voted against the paint tax after trying unsuccessfully to cap the tax at 75 cents a gallon.

“We are going to be increasing the cost of painting your own house,” said Sen. David Balmer, R-Centennial.

The bill now heads to the House.

By Kristen Wyatt, AP Writer

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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