Nicolas Raymond

Colorado Budget Committee Anticipating Less Cannabis Tax Money Following Sales Tax Changes

According to a report by the Colorado Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee, cannabis tax revenues in Colorado are expected to be about $9 million less in the coming fiscal year, due partly to lawmakers eliminating the 2.9 percent sales tax on retail sales.

In fiscal year 2017-2018, the state had about $124 million in state tax revenues to work with and expect about $115 million during fiscal year 2018-2019. The revenues are expected to bounce back in fiscal year 2019-2020 and exceed $137 million. In addition to cutting the cannabis sales tax, lawmakers also eliminated the Hospital Provider Fee.

The Marijuana Tax Cash Fund provided $26.3 million to the state general fund this fiscal year. reports that since 2012 – the first year of legalization in Colorado – $107 million in cannabis tax revenues has been transferred to the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund and $34 million to the Public School Permanent Fund.

Fiscal year 2017-2018 saw $56.5 million in cannabis tax revenues used for a variety of public programs, including; affordable housing grants ($15.3 million), school health professionals grant program ($9.4 million), and illicit cannabis enforcement ($6 million).

In all, the committee estimates about $126.7 million in cannabis tax revenues for fiscal year 2018-2019. The state will need about $116.5 million to maintain funding for programs already using cannabis tax revenues.

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