Please note: penalties/interest will apply if taxes are incorrectly remitted so please timely note tax rate changes and utilize the city tax return found through the Boulder Online Tax System which includes the current tax rates.

Boulder's Sales Tax Division collects sales, use, excise, construction use, accommodations, admissions and food service taxes. The following chart shows the percentage and break down for each of these taxes.

Types of Tax 2015-2021

City

State

County

*RTD

Total

Sales

3.86%

2.90%

0.985%

1.10%

8.845%

Use

3.86%

2.90%

0%

1.10%

7.86%

Construction Use Tax

3.86%

2.9

0.985%

1.10%

8.845%

Food Service

4.010

2.9

0.985%

1.10%

8.995%

Accommodations

7.50%

2.9

0.985%

1.10%

12.485%

Admissions

5.00%

0%

0%

0%

5.00%

Tax Types

An overview of the tax types collected in the City of Boulder. Please visit the Tax Regulations page for further details.

City of Boulder sales tax must be collected on all sales of tangible personal property and taxable services made inside City of Boulder limits. Use tax is due on items brought into City limits on which City of Boulder sales tax was not collected at the time of purchase.

See section 3-2, BRC and our Use Tax FAQ page for more information.

The accommodations tax is an excise tax of 7.50% on the price paid for the leasing or rental of any hotel room, motel room, or other "public accommodation" located in the city for lodging purposes, or leases or rents any dwelling unit in the city for lodging purposes. (Sections 3-3 and 3-15, B.R.C. 1981)

Admissions tax shall be charged on the price of tickets sold for an event not free to the public. Organizations that have a Boulder tax exempt license are not required to charge the admissions tax (section 3-4-5(b), BRC, 1981).

The 5.0% admissions tax may be included in the price of the ticket sold. An admission ticket selling for $20.00 equals admission of $19.05 and admissions tax of $0.95.

Recreational marijuana sales are subject to an additional 3.50% tax rate in addition to the City of Boulder sales tax rate of 3.86%. The tax applies to all sales of any items containing marijuana.

Please visit our Marijuana Tax Rates page for information.

A 5.0% Recreational Marijuana Excise tax is due when marijuana is transferred from a recreational marijuana cultivation facility to a marijuana infused product facility(MIP), testing facility or recreational marijuana dispensary. The tax is paid on the amount calculated on the weight or number of plants multiplied by the value set. The Average Market Rate values for the current period can be found at: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/tax/marijuana-AMR

Please visit our Marijuana Tax Rates page for more information.

The Sugar Sweetened Beverage Distribution Tax places a two cents ($0.02) per ounce excise tax on the distribution of beverages with added sugar and other sweeteners. Please refer to our Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax page for more information.

The trash tax is an occupation tax on trash haulers serving customers within the city limits and helps fund waste reduction efforts in Boulder. Trash tax is charged as follows:

  • $3.50 per month for households; and

  • $0.85 per cubic yard of trash for businesses and multifamily units that use centralized dumpsters. This rate also applies to roll-off containers.

The City of Boulder requires a 10-cent ($0.10) fee for disposable plastic and paper checkout bags at all grocery stores in Boulder. The bag fee does not apply to restaurants, bulk or produce bags, newspaper bags, or any other kind of food packaging bags.

As of July 1, 2020, tobacco retailers must collect and remit the 40% sales tax on Electronic Smoking Devices including any refill, cartridge or any other ESD components. The ESD tax is on top of the City of Boulder sales tax rate of 3.86%.

Please note that flavored tobacco products to be used in an electronic smoking device are banned in the City of Boulder.

Construction Use Tax is the sales/use tax paid by contractors or homeowners for construction materials used when erecting, building, remodeling or repairing real property. The payment of the 3.86% construction use tax is a requirement of obtaining a city permit. Please see our Construction Use Tax page for more information.

Please note that the tax law discussed on the City of Boulder website applies to the City of Boulder tax only. Sales tax licenses are required from both the city and state for businesses to operate in the City of Boulder.

State of Colorado, Boulder County, and RTD taxes are remitted to the State of Colorado via the Colorado Department of Revenue. For information related to specific tax issues for state, county or RTD, please contact the State Department of Revenue at 303-238-7378.

Because the City of Boulder is home ruled and self-collected, all city taxes are remitted directly to the City of Boulder. Please contact our sales tax staff at salestax@bouldercolorado.gov or call 303-441-3051 for further questions on city tax rates and proper city tax remittance.

*Please see separate tax information for Marijuana, Hemp, & Tobacco Sales