Colorado to decide marijuana taxes
DENVER — Marijuana’s journey in legalization takes another step in Colorado when voters decide Tuesday whether to tax it more for the sake of schools and enforcement.
Proposition AA asks voters whether to approve a 15 percent pot excise tax to pay for school construction, plus an extra sales tax of 10 percent to fund marijuana enforcement. The taxes are estimated to bring in $70 million a year.
Some pot activists oppose the tax, saying marijuana should be taxed like beer, which is taxed at a lower rate. To show their displeasure with the suggested taxes, they’ve staged rallies where they’ve handed out free joints.
“It’s simply too high and it’s completely unfair to the enduring ambition of the movement,” said Miguel Lopez, volunteer coordinator for the small opposition campaign to Colorado’s pot tax measure. He added that the goal was for marijuana “not to be exploited by big business and big government.”
Proponents of the tax, which include pot legalization advocates, argue it’s a chance to prove the marijuana industry can benefit communities. They also see it as honoring the will of voters who approved the recreational use of marijuana last year with the assurance that there would be a tax to fund school construction.
“We promised voters that the measure would provide tens of millions of dollars annually for public school construction,” Brian Vicente, one of the supporters of the tax and a leading advocate for legalization, said in a statement before the election.
Regardless of the outcome, retail pot stores opening Jan. 1 will still be subjected to a 2.9 percent sales tax to fund marijuana regulation.
Many municipalities are counting on the windfall from additional taxes to deal with unexpected consequences of marijuana legalization. Even counties that are choosing to ban retail pot shops have indicated they want a share of any additional tax revenue.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User