Shoppers continue to feel a squeeze at retail stores across Colorado, this time in the form of a new fee showing up on receipts. When you get a paper receipt, do you take a moment to look at it? You should.

A Target Store at 93 N Quebec Street in Denver recently made headlines as yet another store in Colorado adding fees to receipts that have customers concerned. These fees are nothing new in Colorado, but they are new to Target's customers who shopped at that specific location.

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Public Improvement Fees in Colorado

It's certainly not easy being a customer these days. Especially when you notice that your local store is adding a fee to your receipt on top of already rising costs and sales tax. Shoppers at Target in Denver noticed a new Public Improvement Fee on store receipts, for which customers are also taxed.

A Public Improvement Fee is not a tax, it's another charge added to the transaction in addition to whatever you purchased. As a separate line item charge, you are also paying a tax on this fee as part of the sale.

What Is A Public Improvement Fee?

Instead of raising costs to cover improvments at a business location, the cost is just being passed on to customers via a fee on their receipt. Attorney Carolynne White told CBS Denver the fees have been a part of developing several new shopping centers in Colorado over the past few decades. PIF charges often go towards paying for the parking lots, water/sewage, and public improvments.

Stores that elect to pass on costs to the customer as a PIF must display the charge on your receipt. Some stores add this fee to pay for an upgrade, then remove the PIF when the project is complete.

It's Not Just Target

Many cities in Colorado will list PIF by municipality so consumers can know which stores will charge them fees. Most people don't know they have ways of looking this up.

A few years back, Hobby Lobby in Fruita charged customers a PIF that most customers didn't even notice. Several shopping centers and shopping malls in Colorado have been charging a PIF for years. The city of Colorado Springs will not approve a city project if it doesn't come with a PIF.

As time passes, it's up to Coloradans to select shopping at the 40-year-old malls and stores or pay a PIF for upgrades.

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