Oregon Lawmakers Consider Letting One County Raise Local Cannabis Taxes

Oregon lawmakers are considering a proposal to let certain counties that border states where cannabis remains outlawed increase the local cannabis tax rate from 3% to no more than 10%. Only Malheur County, next to Idaho, would qualify.

Full story after the jump.

Lawmakers in Oregon are considering a bill to allow some municipalities in the province to raise local taxes on adult-use cannabis from the 3% cap to no more than 10%, the Argus Observer reports. If the bill is passed, voters would have the final say in approving the measure during the General Election.

The bill would allow cities in counties with a population of 30,000 or more and border a state where cannabis remains outlawed to raise the tax rate, the report says. State Sen. Lynn Findley (R) said during a Monday work session on the legislation that there are three counties in Oregon which border Idaho, where cannabis is illegal, but only one – Malheur County – has a population that would meet the bill’s requirements; and in the county, only Ontario meets those requirements.

“It only affects one county and one city. It’s about as narrow as we can get and still be legal to legislative counsel,” Findley said during the session. He told the Observer that the leader of the state House, who killed the bill last year, said she would support the measure if it included the county and city limits.

“By narrowing it to Malheur County, it will make it more palatable to my colleagues.” Findley to the Observer

The amended proposal now moves to the Senate floor where it could be taken up this week.

The state’s Finance and Revenue Committee also held a public hearing on a measure that aims to relieve counties and cities that lost state cannabis revenues due to the passage of a separate bill that diverted some of those funds for drug treatment programs. That bill would allow the formula for distribution for cannabis revenue to be adjusted annually for inflation.

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