Parachute voters deciding on hemp excise tax | PostIndependent.com

Parachute voters deciding on hemp excise tax

Blake Wilson tends to plants at the Colorado Hemp Institute in Parachute in March of 2018.

Industrial hemp farmers operating within the town of Parachute may see a 5 percent excise tax on product sales should the town's ballot question be approved by voters in this fall's election.

Ballot Issue 2B for voters in Garfield County precincts 24 and 25, the two in-town precincts, are asked whether to impose the tax on the wholesale market rate for sales of unprocessed hemp.

Town Manager Stuart McArthur said the town passed an excise tax on marijuana cultivation and manufacturing two years ago, and the town felt this was a good way to tax both industries fairly. He said the taxes can go up to 5 percent on hemp sales, but no more.

Currently, the only hemp operation within town limits is the Colorado Hemp Institute, a combination hemp cultivation and medical-hemp research and treatment facility.

The tax proposal could bring up to $1 million to the town's coffers, according to the ballot question.

Parachute voters will also be deciding three town-government-related questions in the Nov. 6 mail ballot election.

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Question 2C seeks a change in the Parachute's home rule charter and municipal code to rename the town's governing body as the Parachute Town Council, rather than the current "Board of Trustees."

Question 2D seeks a charter amendment allowing official town notices and ordinances to be published on the town website, rather than a newspaper of record.

And, Question 2E would amend the town charter to allow for an emergency ordinance to be used, if necessary, without full public noticing, "for the immediate preservation of public property."

azorn@citizentelegram.com