Legal weed has Colorado’s economy booming.
In 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first two states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Both states also took the opportunity to levy a heavy sales tax on the purchase of weed, with Colorado adding 30% or more to the price of pot. Lawmakers argued that the new tax revenue would assist in raising money for the state and its school system, but a longstanding state law may force the Colorado big wigs to refund some of that money to residents.
According to the 1992 constitutional amendment named Taxpayer’s Bill Of Rights, all newly imposed taxes are required to be voted on by taxpayers. More importantly, there is a cap placed on the amount of tax revenue Colorado is permitted to collect, and in that event, the state is obligated to refund the excess revenue to taxpayers. The state has had to refund residents six times since the enactment of the law. Now, it appears that residents of Colorado may be receiving their share of a $30-$50 Million refund.
Colorado’s economy was already in a surplus, but experts believe that the taxing of marijuana has netted them much larger revenue than expected. Democrats and Republicans of the state are aimless as to how to address the situation. Lawmakers are torn as to whether they should refund the money to all taxpaying residents, or only those who marijuana. Meanwhile, many of the groups that lobbied for a heavy marijuana sales tax have remained silent as to whether they should be reduced.
It seems as though Colorado’s recreational pot users are divided on the issue as well.
50-year-old David Huff said:
“I don’t care if they write me a check, or refund it in my taxes, or just give me a free joint next time I come in. The taxes are too high, and they should give it back,”
25-year-old Maddy Beaumier:
“I have no problem paying taxes if they’re going to schools,”
Colorado has a very interesting situation on their hands. Perhaps this may lead to states that are currently in deficits or have poor economies to legalize the plant. It would also drastically lower the amount of marijuana related arrests, thus freeing up prison space.
Though Rocko does not partake in the herbal essence, he hopes New York will follow suit. – @Rocko_CNK