Marijuana tax could be on ballot
The upcoming ballot may have a question regarding an extra tax on marijuana. The tax may be in the form of an excise tax or an extra sales tax. According to the memorandum, counties are specifically authorized to impose an excise tax on the first sale or transfer of unprocessed retail marijuana by a retail marijuana cultivation facility authorized by the county.
This “first sale or transfer” is from the retail grower to a retail marijuana manufacturing facility, a retail marijuana store, or another retail grower. The tax may be imposed only through voter approval in a ballot question election. The maximum allowed excise tax is five percent of the “average market rate,” which is determined by the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Another option is to raise the sales tax. Retail marijuana sales are subject to the general retail sales tax (Grand County collects one percent retail sales tax). A marijuana-specific sales tax would be a “special” sales tax, since it is taxation of a specific item at a higher rate than imposed on sales of other tangible goods. A county-imposed sales tax is county-wide. There is no statutory maximum on local sales taxes. At the time Grand County enacted its one percent sales tax, there was a statutory cap on the total local government sales taxes (county, municipal and special district). The statute has since been repealed.
The money could be used for a number of different reasons, including going towards the general funds revenue. There will be no tax on medical marijuana.
As of press time no decision had been made on whether the question will be on the ballot.
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