Massachusetts is a great place to live. Residents and visitors have their choice of city or county life, plenty of restaurants, and of course, plenty of shopping.

Massachusetts is home to an abundance of independent retailers from book stores, to sports equipment to gift shops. While small and family-owned businesses are a vital part of the state's economy, big box stores have their place in Massachusetts as well.

One of the more prolific big box chains in the country is Target. Target has 45 locations throughout Massachusetts (which is only three fewer locations than Walmart) and those stores employ around 14,000 residents.

Millions of Massachusetts shoppers take advantage of the affordable prices the chain offers, in addition to some extra incentive programs like the Target Card or Cartwheel app. However, some Denver area Target shoppers were surprised to see something new on their receipts recently, and Massachusetts customers are worried that they could be next.

Recently shoppers at the Target store located at 93 North Lowry Boulevard in Denver, Colorado, noticed an extra charge on their receipt. It was a small amount, but the customer was still confused as next to the charge the words "Public Improvement Fee" were printed.

The customer discovered that Target had recently announced that shoppers at certain stores are now being charged a 1% fee on each transaction. Signs located throughout the store, as well as a press release from the company, noted the change.

The sign read:

"Of the total amount you are paying in retail sales taxes and fees, 1.00% is a Public Improvement Fee payable to Boulevard at Lowry to help pay for the costs of public improvements... within Boulevard at Lowry. This Public Improvement Fee is not a tax and is charged in addition to the 8.81% sales tax that normally applies in Denver."

A statement from a project developer to CBS News Colorado said the fee is being used to pay for "public improvements of the property."

Will Target Shoppers in Massachusetts Be Forced to Pay a Public Improvement Fee?

While the Public Improvement Fee is a tough break for Colorado shoppers, the good news is that, so far, there are no Target locations in Massachusetts instituting that fee. In fact, it seems to be unique to Colorado locations.

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