City plans to start releasing more marijuana sales tax data
November 28, 2015
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs residents soon will get to see how much the new marijuana industry is putting into the city’s coffers each month.
The upcoming monthly releases of marijuana sales tax data also could be used to estimate how many of the sales are coming from locals and how many from tourists.
To date, city officials have not released monthly sales tax data on the marijuana industry for two reasons.
Initially, there were only two dispensaries up and running, so disclosure would have violated city and state confidentiality rules.
With three pot shops now up and running, the city is no longer concerned about breaching sales tax confidentiality rules. But it continued withholding the monthly data on the marijuana industry, because it typically does not release sales tax figures for any industry that doesn’t account for at least three percent of the city’s overall sales tax collections.
Interim City Manager Gary Suiter recently told the Steamboat Springs City Council marijuana sales account for about 1.5 percent of the city’s overall collections.
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By comparison, liquor sales have generally accounted for about four percent of the local sales tax collections.
Suiter said the city plans to begin releasing the marijuana sales tax data in January.
The figures will show city revenue derived from the combined sales of medical and retail marijuana.
City Councilman Scott Ford requested the city start reporting monthly sales tax data from marijuana sales.
He pointed out Amendment 64 allows for marijuana to be treated the same as alcohol, and the city reports sales tax data on alcohol sales each month.
He also said lumping marijuana sales tax data in the “miscellaneous retail” category distorts the collection figures in downtown categories.
According to Colorado Department of Revenue Data, about $4.3 million in medical and retail marijuana was sold in Routt County from April through September.