Bloomingdale’s, Inc. is on the receiving end of a proposed class action case filed in Illinois state court in which the plaintiff alleges the retailer charges on garment bags an illegal $0.07 sales tax that, under the Chicago Checkout Bag Tax Ordinance, should be applied only to paper or plastic carryout bags.
Under the February 2017 ordinance—through which merchants receive $0.02 and the city nets the remaining $0.05—a checkout bag is classified as “a paper carryout bag or a plastic carryout bag” provided by a store to a customer, the suit reads. Notably, while the dollar amounts may not jump off the page to consumers, the “bag tax” has reportedly generated more than $9.5 million in aggregate since it was put into law, according to the complaint.
Bloomingdale’s, the plaintiff claims, automatically and uniformly charges this bag tax on its retail garment bags, an apparent violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act:
“On information and belief, at the point-of-sale, instances where Bloomingdale’s sells or gives garment bags to customers when they make a retail purchase, Bloomingdale’s automatically imposes and collects an improper Bag Tax on each garment bag.
On information and belief, Bloomingdale’s automatically charges the Bag Tax on garment bags that do not fall within the definition of a ‘checkout bag’ under the Ordinance, thereby improperly charging its customers the Bag Tax.”
Per the plaintiff, the lawsuit says the woman purchased a winter coat and was improperly charged $1,019.88 as a result of the bag tax.