Voters in multiple parts of Colorado approved new marijuana taxes that will hike prices for consumers in those areas. Eagle County, Colorado is suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. They’re hoping the new marijuana taxes that were approved will help fund programs that will save the town. However, it still begs the question: Are taxes on legal marijuana getting too high?
Current Marijuana Taxes In Colorado
Until earlier this year, the state retail marijuana sales tax in Colorado has always been 10 percent. Starting July 1, 2017, that tax was brought up to 15 percent. Before the recent hikes, areas like Eagle County didn’t even have a local marijuana sales tax. They were only collecting the regular sales taxes until voters in certain cities approved the new marijuana taxes.
If you live in Colorado and your city isn’t imposing their own marijuana taxes, they may be coming soon.
New Taxes Are Coming
Local sales tax rates went up in over 10 areas of Colorado this January.
Eagle County followed in their footsteps, starting a local pot tax. It will start at 2.5 percent and cap at five percent. So cannabis consumers in Eagle County will be dishing out 15 percent on state retail marijuana sales tax, 2.5 percent on local marijuana sales tax, plus the standard local and state sales taxes on all retail transactions.
The county has a 36-member oversight committee that will make recommendations to the Eagle County Board of Commissioners on how to spend tax money accumulated from recreational marijuana. The main concern for the community is combatting mental illness and substance abuse.
According to Andrew Romanoff, CEO of Mental Health Colorado, “Eagle County voted to save lives.”
He believes other counties in Colorado are watching Eagle County.
“They might want to do something similar. It could be a model for the whole state,” Romanoff said. “The community was following this argument through the newspapers and other means. At the end of the day, the argument in favor of mental health is overwhelming.”
Voters in another small town west of Eagle County also approved new taxes on medical marijuana. Voters in De Beque, Colorado approved a five percent tax on medical marijuana—even though the town doesn’t have any medical marijuana centers. They currently have two recreational dispensaries with a five percent tax, which must be doing well. So if any medical marijuana dispensaries open up in the area, they’ll be collecting that five percent tax starting the day they open.
Final Hit: Parts Of Colorado Approve New Marijuana Taxes
Many cities and counties that don’t currently have their own marijuana tax are looking to capitalize. Over a dozen places in Colorado have voted to increase or begin taxing marijuana at the local level this year. Many will likely follow in their footsteps. The only place in Colorado to drop their marijuana tax rate was Steamboat Springs.