Marijuana Taxation Question

Why did Council vote to place before the voters the marijuana taxation question?

City Council feels that it is in the best interests of the City of Alamosa to request the voters to tax the retail sale of marijuana and marijuana products in the event that the voters determine that retail marijuana facilities should be allowed within the City.  The City anticipates costs to regulate this new and unique business that still has many unknowns at both the State and Federal levels.  Additionally, the City anticipates costs related to enforcement of this activity to ensure retail operations comply with State and Local regulations.  Researching other communities indicates that allowing retail sale of marijuana can lead to other community implications that will require resources to address.

Council was very deliberate in selecting a 5% sales tax for retail (recreational) marijuana to be in line with the average 5% that other communities in Colorado have levied on such sales.

What are some of the expected benefits of the marijuana tax?

Revenues generated from the tax will help off-set the cost of regulating the businesses and enforcement efforts to ensure compliance.  Additionally, the City is unsure if there will be other implications from this activity that will require resources such as increased transient activity, youth education, crime, etc.

The Alamosa County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) is in support of these taxes in order to fund necessary regulation and enforcement activities or other needs that may occur if the sale of marijuana is allowed.

Why would someone be opposed to the tax?

Based on philosophical beliefs, some voters believe that government should be limited and are opposed to taxes in general.  Others may believe that placing an additional tax on the sale of marijuana would hurt marijuana retailers or create a competitive advantage for competitors with a lower tax.  Some may believe that placing a tax would divert buyers from legitimate retailers to the black market.

Can I vote “yes” on the tax and “no” on the legalization?

Yes, you can vote to allow a new tax on retail marijuana products, and at the same time vote against allowing marijuana stores.  If the vote to allow marijuana stores fails, then there will be no tax, since it is limited to marijuana products

 

What is the actual ballot language for the retail (recreational) marijuana question?

SHALL THE TAXES OF THE CITY OF ALAMOSA BE INCREASED BY $ 300,000 IN THE FIRST FISCAL YEAR, BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2018, AND BY SUCH AMOUNTS AS ARE RAISED ANNUALLY THEREAFTER, BY IMPOSING AN ADDITIONAL SALES TAX OF 5 % ON THE SALE OF RETAIL MARIJUANA AND RETAIL MARIJUANA PRODUCTS, ONLY IN THE EVENT THAT RETAIL MARIJUANA FACILITIES ARE PERMITTED IN THE CITY OF ALAMOSA BASED UPON AN AFFIRMATIVE VOTE OF THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE CITY OF ALAMOSA UNDER SEPARATE BALLOT QUESTION, WITH THE RESULTING SALES TAX RATES BEING CAPABLE OF BEING LOWERED OR REVOKED IN THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE ALAMOSA CITY COUNCIL, WITH THE RESULTING TAX REVENUES ALLOWED TO BE COLLECTED AND SPENT, NOT WITH STANDING ANY EXPENDITURE, REVENUE RAISING, OR OTHER LIMITATION CONTAINED IN ARTICLE X, § 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION ANY OTHER LIMITATIONS PROVIDED BY LAW?

What does a “YES” vote do?

A “Yes” vote will increase taxes through the imposition of an additional 5% sales tax on retail (recreational) marijuana and marijuana products in the event that the voters determine that marijuana facilities should be allowed within the City.

Voting “yes” on this item does NOT mean that you support the sale of retail (recreational) marijuana, but rather only that if the sale of retail (recreational) marijuana is allowed that there should be a tax on it.  You can vote “no” on the question to allow retail (recreational) marijuana and still vote “yes” on taxing it should it pass.

What does a “NO” vote do?

A “No” vote will not allow an increase on taxes through the imposition of a sales tax on retail (recreational) marijuana and marijuana products in the event that the voters determine that marijuana facilities should be allowed within the City.  The City will not receive additional funds for regulatory and enforcement needs.