DENVER—For the third time since 2012, Colorado voters will decide a ballot question on the sales of recreational marijuana.
This year, voters will be asked to prevent a refund of the first year’s marijuana taxes that has been triggered by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) in the state constitution.
VOTE in the 9NEWS Morning poll: Colorado voters will decide in November if the State will keep an estimated $58 million in marijuana revenue. Should the state, keep it or return it? Vote below or click here:
This requirement of TABOR only applies to newly-enacted taxes and also will require the state to switch the tax off one time only, resulting in a tax holiday on the special sales tax for pot this September.
Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) signed HB 1367 on Thursday, which will create a 2015 ballot question asking voters to block a marijuana tax refund.
The same bill will eventually reduce the special tax rate on pot from 10 percent to 8 percent, which is intended to help retail marijuana undercut the black market.
IF THE VOTERS SAY YES
The state can spend the $58 million collected on pot taxes in the first fiscal years.
$40 million will be allocated to school construction and the rest will be distributed to a variety of programs including marijuana education, law enforcement, and treatment.
A handful of other programs providing services to children would receive some of the funds.
IF THE VOTERS SAY NO
The state will return the $58 million through three separate types of refunds aimed at different groups:
- INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYERS would get $25 million returned when they file state income taxes. This amounts to $6.10 per adult in Colorado, though the exact amount would vary depending on income brackets.
- MARIJUANA CONSUMERS would get $13.3 million in the form of a tax break on pot. For the first 1-6 months of 2016, the tax rate on marijuana would be dropped to 0.1% instead of 10%. The tax would be raised back to 10 percent when the total tax break amounts to $13.3 million or June 30—whichever comes first.
- MARIJUANA GROWERS would get $19.7 million paid directly to them by the state. This is a refund of the excise tax paid to the state on wholesale pot before it ever reaches store shelves.
(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)