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Election 2015: Hayden voters to decide marijuana tax, fluoride issue

Referendum 2D

Shall the town of Hayden’s taxes be increased by $143,500 in fiscal year 2016 (first full fiscal year dollar increase) and by whatever additional amounts are raised annually thereafter through the imposition of an excise tax in the amount of 7.5 percent in 2016 and up to 15 percent, thereafter on the sale or transfer of marijuana (both medical and retail) by a marijuana cultivation facility at the average market rate at the point of sale or transfer from the cultivation facility, commencing on Jan. 1, 2016; and in connection therewith, shall the full proceeds of such tax at such rate and any earnings thereon be collected, retained and spend, as a voter-approved revenue change without limitation or condition, and without limiting the collection, retention or spending of any other revenues under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution or any other law?

Referendum 2F

Shall the Town of Hayden stop adding fluoride into any Town of Hayden, Colorado, public water system?

Residents in Hayden will have two local issues to vote on.

The first issue is whether the town should collect taxes on the wholesale sales of marijuana grown by cultivators.

On Sept. 3, the Hayden Town Council voted to put a measure on the November ballot that would allow wholesale sales of the marijuana to be taxed between 7.5 percent and 15 percent.



At a tax rate of 5 percent, Town Manager David Torgler has estimated grow operations will generate $143,500 in annual revenue for the town.

Torgler said Wednesday the intent of the current council is to have a tax rate of 7.5 percent, and future councils could raise the tax up to 15 percent.



Referendum 2D

Shall the town of Hayden’s taxes be increased by $143,500 in fiscal year 2016 (first full fiscal year dollar increase) and by whatever additional amounts are raised annually thereafter through the imposition of an excise tax in the amount of 7.5 percent in 2016 and up to 15 percent, thereafter on the sale or transfer of marijuana (both medical and retail) by a marijuana cultivation facility at the average market rate at the point of sale or transfer from the cultivation facility, commencing on Jan. 1, 2016; and in connection therewith, shall the full proceeds of such tax at such rate and any earnings thereon be collected, retained and spend, as a voter-approved revenue change without limitation or condition, and without limiting the collection, retention or spending of any other revenues under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution or any other law?

There currently are no marijuana cultivators operating in the town, but the Hayden Town Council approved allowing marijuana cultivation when they voted 6-1 on Aug. 6 in favor of Ordinance 666.

The taxation issue could end up being a non-issue, depending on what Hayden voters decide during a Jan. 26 special election.

Allowing marijuana cultivation proved to be a divisive issue among residents, and a committee has gathered enough signatures to put Ordinance 666 to a vote.

Hayden voters are also being asked whether they want the town to continue adding fluoride to the drinking water.

Many municipalities across the country for the past 70 years have put fluoride into drinking water with the belief that it helps prevent tooth decay.

During a May 21 Hayden Town Council meeting, a council member said the council should discuss whether to continue adding fluoride to the water. On June 4, the council directed the town staff to put the question on the ballot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy support putting fluoride in the drinking water.

“Water fluoridation’s biggest advantage is that it is the best method for delivering fluoride to all members of the community regardless of age, education, income level or access to routine dental care,” Murthy wrote in a report this summer. “Fluoride’s effectiveness in preventing tooth decay extends throughout life, resulting in fewer and less severe cavities. In fact, each generation born since the implementation of water fluoridation has enjoyed better dental health than the preceding generation.”

The Fluoride Action Network opposes fluoride. According to the group’s website, fluoridation is an outdated form of mass medication; it is unnecessary and ineffective and it is not a safe practice.

“Europe reached this conclusion a long time ago,” the website states. “It is now time for the U.S. and other English-speaking nations to follow suit.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland


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