Single-Use Cup Tax FAQs

1) What is a single-use, disposable cup tax?

Effective July 1, 2022, any person, business, event, food truck, or other entity, including both permanent and temporary facilities, which sells or provides hot or cold beverages in a single-use, disposable cup must charge an additional twenty-five cents ($0.25) for each cup.  Beginning January 1, 2023, twelve and a half cents ($0.125) of each twenty-five cent ($0.25) mandatory cup charge shall be collected and distributed by the seller to the County of Santa Cruz as a business tax. The remainder of the charge shall be retained by the seller.

2) How often do I need to remit payment to the County?

Starting January 1st, 2023, payments will be due quarterly one month after the end of each reporting period (see table below).

Reporting Period Due Date
January 1st – March 31st April 30th
April 1st – June 30th July 31st
July 1st – September 30th October 31st
October 1st – December 31st January 31st

3) Will I have to register and have an account?

Yes, there will be a simple form to fill out through an online portal on the Tax Collector’s website. A printable copy of the form will be posted on the Tax Collector’s website or a paper copy will be available at the Tax Collector’s office.

4) Will I be able to pay online?

Yes, payments will be accepted through an online portal on the Tax Collector’s website.

5) What information will I need to report when I make payments?

The amount of single use cups sold during the reporting period.

6) What documentation will I need to submit with my payment?

If you report online, there will be no additional documentation needed.

If you pay with check/cash, you will need to submit a simple reporting form with your payment. A printable copy of the form will be posted on the Tax Collector’s website or a paper copy will be available at the Tax Collector’s office.

7) If I have multiple businesses, can I pay them all with one check and one reporting form?

Yes, but you will need to list the number of cups per business on the reporting form.

For the full text of the original Single-Use Disposable Cups mandatory charge (Chapter 5.47), use the following link:

Chapter 5.47 LITTER AND POLLUTION REDUCTION—SINGLE-USE DISPOSABLE CUPS

For the full text of Measure C amending section 5.47.050 of the Santa Cruz County code, use the following link:

MEASURE C - COUNTY CUP TAX