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Clean energy initiative cleaning up at grocery checkout

Posted On: Oct. 22, 2019 1:30 PM CST


Joshua Gagnier visited the Safeway grocery store in Portland, Oregon, on Friday to pick up a $3.33 bottle of Quail Oak Rose wine.

When he looked at his receipt, something didn’t make sense. And so the cork was popped on a class-action lawsuit against a municipality for passing along a tax to its customers.

Mr. Gagnier is listed as the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit filed Monday against the grocery store chain for charging customers a 1% fee — 3 cents in Mr. Gagnier’s case – to pay for a tax the city is charging large retailers to help pay for Portland's clean energy initiative, KGW8 reported Tuesday.

The suit accuses Safeway Corp. of violating the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act because "the surcharge was not disclosed to the customer in the advertised price of the wine he purchased."

This is the second class-action lawsuit filed recently against a Portland business for passing on the clean energy tax to customers — the first was filed against AT&T over a 5-cent billing surcharge, according to the news station.