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New California Law Puts Charge in Lead-Acid Battery Sales

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – Beginning April 1, 2017, sales of lead-acid batteries will be subject to two $1 fees. Manufacturers will pay a $1 fee for every lead-acid battery sold to a retailer, wholesaler, distributor, or other person for retail sale in California. Consumers will pay a $1 fee on each purchase of a replacement lead-acid battery.

As signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act of 2016 requires retailers to register, collect, and remit the fee to the Board of Equalization (BOE); and manufacturers to register and remit the fee to the BOE. Manufacturers who are considered retailers are required to collect the $1 California battery fee as well as pay the $1 manufacturer battery fee. Retailers who purchase and import lead-acid batteries from a manufacturer who is not subject to the jurisdiction of California must pay the $1 manufacturer battery fee.

A lead-acid battery – the type commonly found in vehicles – is any battery that weighs more than five kilograms (11 pounds), is composed primarily of both lead and sulfuric acid, and has a capacity of six or more volts. Retailers will charge a refundable deposit, subject to sales tax, when a consumer purchases a replacement lead-acid battery and does not simultaneously provide a used lead-acid battery to the dealer.

The fee is expected to generate $26 million annually. Revenues collected will be deposited into the Lead-Acid Battery Cleanup Fund, where they will be used to investigate, evaluate, clean up, remediate, remove, monitor, or otherwise respond to any area in the state that may have been contaminated by the operation of a lead-acid battery recycling facility.

Beginning April 1, 2022, manufacturers will no longer be required to collect and remit the $1 fee. Instead, consumers will pay a $2 fee upon purchase of a replacement lead-acid battery.

Online registration is now available.  More information can be found on the Lead Acid Battery Fee Guide.

The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board that hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. The BOE collects $60.5 billion annually in taxes and fees, supporting state and local government services. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit the California Tax Service Center.

Note: This news release may discuss complex tax laws and concepts. It may not address every situation, and is not considered written advice under Revenue and Taxation Code section 55045. Changes in law or regulations may have occurred since the time this news release was written. If there is a conflict between the text of this news release and the law, decisions will be based upon the law and not this news release. For specific help, please contact the BOE at 1-800-400-7115.

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