It appears that Colorado’s initial revenue estimates for last year were too low, and now state lawmakers are scrambling to keep their hands on $60 million made taxing the legal marijuana industry, The New York Times reports.
The money would be spent on schools, marijuana education programs, and paying the salaries of state-employed cannabis industry inspectors and regulators. However, a strict anti-spending provision in Colorado’s state Constitution — known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights — may prevent lawmakers from ever getting their hands on that money. The provision dictates that when Colorado earns more than expected in a given year, the state is required to return some of that money to taxpayers.
“It’s not that pot tax came in too high,” explains State Senator Pat Steadman. “It’s that every other revenue came in high.”
Steadman is currently working on a bipartisan bill that would ask voters if the state government can keep the $60 million. Otherwise, the money will be returned to consumers, growers, and the general public as a tax refund.
Photo Credit: Jasen Miller
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