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Time to File for Aspen's Annual Food Sales Tax Refund

  • Feb 4, 2013 | Gail Cole

 Live year-round in Aspen? Remember to Apply for the Food Sales Tax Refund.

Aspen, Colorado, started a food sales tax refund program in 2009, in order to "encourage voters to support a sales tax referendum" that increased the city sales tax by 1%.


The basic refund is $50 per person per year, and applies to all residents "who can prove they were a resident of the City of Aspen for the entire previous calendar year" and who are "over the age of sixteen (16)… ." The refund also applies to "every dependent (person) who is a member of the resident's household, and for whom that person is entitled to claim a personal exemption under and pursuant to the federal income tax laws… ."

In addition to the basic food sales tax refund:

  • Blind people receive an extra $50;
  • People 65 or over (as of 12/31/13) receive an extra $50; and
  • Senior citizens receive an additional $50 senior citizen allowance.

Thus "if you are 65 or over as of 12/31/12 and blind, you would receive $200 ($50+$50+$50+$50)."


In order to claim the refund for 2012, "applications must be received on or before April 15. … If the 15th should fall on a Saturday or Sunday, they will be due on the following Monday." The application is available on-line or at the Finance Window at the Aspen City Hall.

Questions should be addressed to the Aspen Finance Department at 970.920.5040.

2013 Refund

Beginning this year, "all applicants will be required to be a registered voter in the City of Aspen to qualify for the food sales tax refund." In the past, qualified applicants had only to be full-time residents. Non-citizens or felons who cannot vote may still be eligible for the refund, but they will have to provide "alternative proof of residency."

The City of Aspen is a home rule city, meaning that "[n]either the Colorado Department of Revenue nor any other taxing authority may collect taxes on behalf of the City." It has a City tax rate of 2.4%, and a total sales tax rate of 9.3%.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.