Marijuana: Boulder's proposed 26 percent pot tax up for public discussion tonight

Categories: Marijuana

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As we told you last month, Boulder City Council is considering adding a 26 percent tax on retail marijuana sales in the city -- in addition to state taxes.

The measure has gained steam since then, and tonight the city wants to hear from the general public. As it stands now, Boulder is proposing collecting up to a 10 percent special sales tax on recreational cannabis on top of the 6.31 general sales tax the city already plans to collect. All of that is in addition to the 10 percent sales tax for consumers and 15 percent excise tax on producers and sellers proposed at the state level. Boulder officials say they are also considering a 15 percent excise tax at the county level as well.

For those keeping score: that would be a proposed total tax of over 56.31 percent on pot in Boulder. Put another way, for every $1 of pot sold in Boulder County, Colorado governments would collect another $.56 in one way or another. According to the report, a 10 percent sales tax would pull in about $2.4 million each year for the city.

According to the proposal, up to 50 percent of the sales tax would help "cover the indirect costs to the city of marijuana use and allow the city to provide comprehensive substance abuse programs to mitigate the negative effects of abuse of marijuana and other intoxicating substances." All that, even though the city has yet to identify the "social impacts of legalized recreational marijuana," according to the same report. Basically, they are asking for a lot of money to cover problems they can't even predict.

The proposal doesn't technically set the high rates in Boulder; it merely caps them at 10 and 15 percent, respectively. The specifics would be left up to Boulder City Council at a later date -- though if those councilmembers are anything like state officials, they'll ask for the entire thing all at once.

By comparison, Boulder has no special taxes on alcohol. The city can't even enact one under state law. Instead, booze is considered part of the general retail sales tax, with a rate of 3.41 percent. So the tax you pay at the liquor store is the same tax you'll pay on everything from toys and games to hardware and sporting goods. At restaurants, alcohol is subject to the food service tax of .15 percent in addition to the 3.41 percent sales tax. But that's the same tax rate you'd pay for a Coke.

The state does collect a special excise tax on liquor, though it is based on volume: $.08 for every gallon of beer, $.0733 for every gallon of wine and $.6026 for every liter of liquor sold. That's equal to about 8.6 percent on a $12, 1.75 liter bottle of gin. A $60 keg of beer bought from Great Divide would come out to about .66 percent.

Other cities, like Breckenridge and Denver, have proposed a 5 percent sales tax on recreational cannabis sales -- a rate that activists and lobbyists say is more reasonable.

"We're going to need to see a rate at the 5 percent range," industry consultant Shawn Coleman told Michael Roberts back in June. "Or the result is Boulder businesses either remain medical facilities or leave the city. That would leave Boulder adult consumers with only the black market in Boulder, which is what we were trying to get away from with the passage of Amendment 64."

Boulder City Council originally had the discussion set for a committee meeting last night, but decided to move it to the full council meeting for discussion at 6 p.m. tonight at the Boulder Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway. For more information, visit BoulderColorado.gov.

More from our Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule archive: "Cannabis Time Capsule: Tripping on THC in New York City in 1893."


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22 comments
publius.ceasar
publius.ceasar

Back in Black.... the black market rules. Do something for your buddy with a grow room and buy from him - fuck Colorado. Vote NO on the Excise tax and Sales taxes when they come up this fall.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "That would leave Boulder adult consumers with only the black market in Boulder"

Worked just fine for the last 40+ years ...


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Boulder's idiocy represents an opportunity for Denver voters, who can deny our incompetent, spendthrift City administration money they plan to piss away, support a legal market in cannabis at the expense of the black market here, fund school construction, and lure customers from Boulder, where exorbitant taxes will drive consumers to seek other options -- or we could follow the example of Boulder and sabotage the legal market we just voted two-to-one to establish.

We the People authorized the General Assembly to ask for up to a 15% excise tax -- they ask instead for the full 15% excise and anopther 10% added on to existing sales taxes to boot.

Cities and counties would benefit from general retail sales of cannabis funding school construction and swelling sales tax revenue -- their purblind leaders either ban sales outright or propose absurdly high taxes that attest to their shortsightedness and greed.

Voters should vote down all these taxes; next year, if the General Assembly asks us nicely for the 15% we authorized, then we should consider approving that tax only.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay -- always championing the black market, the status quo of people being made felons for growing, distributing, and selling cannabis, he also apparently favors adults who use cannabis supplying it to minors.  Who would adopt such a position?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase = typical LYING liar.


@RobertChase "we just voted two-to-one to establish."

BULLSHIT!


@RobertChase "We the People authorized the General Assembly to ask for up to a 15% excise tax "

BULLSHIT! A64 clearly MANDATES that the GA SHALL ESTABLISH the 15% excise tax 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "the black market" = ALL the marijuana users, growers and suppliers for the last 40+ years.

Why do you hate and denigrate Marijuana Users, Growers and Suppliers?


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay would declare it to be midnight at midday if he thought anyone would believe him.  In denver, voters approved what is now Article XVIII, Section 16 of Colorado's Constitution by a margin of 66.34% in favor to 33.66% against -- very close to a margin of two-to-one in favor..

You seem to have forgotten the existence of TABOR.  Article XVIII, Section 16 of the Constitution does not obviate the requirement to obtain the People's explicit consent for the 15% excise tax according to the forms prescribed.  Your ad hominem is utterly irrelevant to the points I raised, and it is based on demonstrated falsehoods.  Voters can and should turn back all inappropriate taxes on cannabis, which at this point is all of them.  We will have to wait until the General Assembly complies with Article XVIII, Section 16's requirement that it ask the voters for a 15% excise tax (as opposed to asking for both a 15% excise tax and a 10% sales tax surcharge in a single initiative) in order to carry out the intent of voters when they passed Amendment 64 last November.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase

There is nothing in the PROVISIONS -- i.e. LAW -- of A64 that mandates marijuana be regulated similar to alcohol, much less EXACTLY like alcohol.

HipTip: there are many Alcohol related crimes that are in fact Felonies



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  If WE WANT felonies for cannabis rescinded, WE will have to demand that OUR REPRESENTATIVES DO SO -- the CONSTITUTION of the State of Colorado NOW  STATES that the People find and declare that cannabis "SHOULD be regulated in a manner SIMILAR TO ALCOHOL", and violations of the Liquor Code are ONLY MISDEMEANORS!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "but it DOES IMPLY that we should rescind ALL FELONY PENALTIES for cannabis.  "

100% Bullshit.

A64 did NOT repeal a SINGLE FELONY Statute in Colorado.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Article XVIII, Section 16 of the Constitution of Colorado DOES NOT END Prohibition, but it DOES IMPLY that we should rescind ALL FELONY PENALTIES for cannabis.  You support keeping cannabis illegal.  Your ravings about the DOR are ridiculous.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase = DID Support the CONTINUED CRIMINAL Prohibition of Marijuana via that festering turd A64 ... which surrendered TOTAL CONTROL over to Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels, their insatiable parasites at the Dept. of Revenue, and their Law Enforcement Goons who are charged with Arresting and Prosecuting INDIVIDUALS who would dare infringe on the Cartel-DoR's lust for total $$.domination.


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Who would support keeping cannabis illegal to grow, sell, and distribute?  The representative of drug cartels, or the cops -- you.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "Municipal elections are held when the fewest and the most conservative voters vote"

So do you hate Democracy, or the clueless Voters themselves? ... or both?


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Municipal elections are held when the fewest and the most conservative voters vote, and the make-up of Denver's government reflects that.  Progressives should support amending the City Charter to hold municipal elections at the same time as general elections.  Of course, you do not support anything (but tacitly support the Collaborationist machine).

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "trying to shove a 15% excise tax tied to a 10% sales tax surcharge down the voter's throats"

Why do you hate Democracy?

How is placing an issue on an ELECTION BALLOT -- where VOTERS will Decide -- "shoving it down" anyone's throat?

If the VOTERS decide that "Taxing the Shit" out of marijuana -- as offered repeatedly by pro-pot pimps -- is the way to go, then just bend over and get the REGULATION you begged for.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... so when do you run for City Council? ... will all the support and votes of your "coalition", your election should be a snap.

LOL!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

The General Assembly should do that next year, because this year they are trying to shove a 15% excise tax tied to a 10% sales tax surcharge down the voter's throats -- or are you still confused about the nature of TABOR's requirements?  That "shall" is interpreted to mean that the GA is supposed to ask us to approve the tax, only the GA DID NOT refer the initiative required in Article XVIII, Section 16, but one giving voters a both-or-neither choice with regard to the unjustified sales tax surcharge.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  The margin of victory in Denver is a measure of how incredibly unrepresentative Denver's City Council is, dimbulb!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay The margin in DENVER WAS 2:1 -- the subject of the post to which you were making a knee-jerk reply was how DENVER does not need to let its idiot City Council screw-over the legal market we just approved 2:1, you deceptive nitwit!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... the STATEWIDE initiative approval was NOT 2 to 1 ... you lying piece of prevaricating poo.

A64 clearly stated that the Legislature SHALL ESTABLISH an excise tax at 15%.




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