No extra pot tax for November ballot
August 18, 2016
The Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has decided not to pursue an extra marijuana tax ballot question for the upcoming election. At their Tuesday, August 16 meeting, the BOCC continued a discussion from the previous meeting about the possibility of an excise tax or extra sales tax on marijuana. They determined at the previous meeting on August 9 that an extra sales tax was unlikely, and that if there were to be an extra tax it would be an excise tax. Counties are specifically authorized to impose an excise tax on the first sale or transfer of unprocessed retail marijuana by 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, according to a memorandum from the County's Attorney's Office. The maximum allowed tax is five percent of the "average market rate," which is determined by the Colorado Department of Revenue. The commissioners agreed that the proposed excise tax for Grand County would likely be around one percent with the potential to rise over time. Once collected, local excise tax proceeds may be credited to the general fund or any special fund, and may be used for any purpose as determined by the governing body, according to the memorandum.
For Grand County, an excise tax would only directly affect Igadi in Tabernash as they are the only grow operation in the county. Commissioners Manguso and Linke agreed that the ballot is already crowded for the upcoming election, and that this tax may be looked at as punishment for Igadi, who is producing revenue for the county and creating jobs. Commissioner Manguso also said the county needs more data on how to execute this taxation process if they decide to do so.