Feb 05

Forget Income Tax Refunds. Coloradans Might Get a Marijuana Refund! (Paid Out in Money, Not Pot)

Getty – Kevork Djansezian

Americans who are getting a jump on their income taxes may already be looking forward to receiving (and spending) their refund checks. But for those who live in Colorado, another type of rebate may be making its way toward their bank accounts: a “reefer refund”!

According to state law, Denver may be forced to return some of the money collected in recreational marijuana taxes during the first, full year of legal sales. Residents and tourists racked up $50 million in taxation revenue for Colorado in 2012.

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons

The state constitution contains an amendment referred to as a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights (TABOR), which was approved by voters almost a quarter-century ago. In addition to requiring all new taxes to receive the go-ahead from Colorado voters, TABOR also compels the state to issue refunds to taxpayers whenever it takes in too much money in revenues. The definition of “too much” is set by a complex formula that has been established under the law.

Since TABOR was passed, residents of the Rocky Mountain State have received these types of refunds six times, with total amounts ranging from about $40 million to over $1 billion.

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Feb 05

Grand Junction City Council adds new measure to April ballot regarding the Westside Beltway Project

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Grand Junction City Council is looking into completing the Westside Beltway project several years later, but TABOR funds are needed in order to finish the project.

The citizens of Grand Junction voted for the city to continue holding tabor override taxes to pay off the debt of Riverside Parkway early. However the city is looking to now continue the Westside Beltway project, making 22 and 25 road more traffic friendly.

It would improve 25 Road from I-70B, along F1/2 Road and 24 Road to I-70. The timing and funding of this project is one of the reasons they are now putting it on the ballot.

“If voters decide they want us to do this, we will be finishing this project at the same time the previous project would be paid off. So both projects would be paid off at the same time,” said Phyllis Norris, the Mayor of Grand Junction.

This project is an attempt to relieve some of the traffic from Patterson Road, as well as provide a easy route to the interstate from Riverside Parkway.

There are millions of taxpayers’ dollars set aside for the project, slated to start in 2017 if the measure is passed. However more funds are needed, to the tune of $12.5 million dollars, which is why the ballot measure will be asking citizens to use additional funds from TABOR.