Election 2015: Proposition BB decides whether state keeps marijuana tax revenues
May the state retain and spend state revenues that otherwise would be refunded for exceeding an estimate included in the ballot information booklet for Proposition AA and use these revenues to provide $40 million for public school building construction and for other needs such as law enforcement, youth programs and marijuana education and prevention programs, instead of refunding these revenues to retail marijuana cultivation facilities, retail marijuana purchasers and other taxpayers.
With Proposition BB, Colorado voters will decide whether the state gets to keep marijuana tax revenues or refund that tax money back to taxpayers and the marijuana industry.
The decision is going to a vote because the state’s total tax revenues from retail marijuana sales were higher than estimates given to voters in 2013, when they approved Proposition AA, which allowed for excise and sales taxes on retail marijuana.
If Proposition BB fails, $66 million in marijuana tax revenues will be refunded to taxpayers. Of that total, $24 million will be refunded to retail marijuana cultivators and $17 million will go to retail marijuana customers using a temporary reduction in the retail marijuana sales tax rate. Finally, $25 million will be refunded to Colorado residents who file a 2015 state income tax return. The refund to individuals will be between $6 and $32, with the smallest wage earners receiving the smaller refunds.
If Proposition BB passes, $40 million will go toward school construction and $12 million will be split among these programs:
- Marijuana education and prevention campaigns ($2.5 million)
- Bullying prevention and school grants ($2 million)
- Drop-out prevention school grants ($2 million)
- Youth mentoring services ($2 million)
- Poison control centers ($1 million)
- Local government marijuana impact grants ($1 million)
- Substance abuse screening, interventions and referral ($500,000)
- Substance abuse treatment ($500,000)
- Future Farmers of America and 4-H programs at the State Fair ($300,000)
Roadside impaired-driving enforcement training for peace officers ($200,000)
The remaining $14 million in tax revenue has not been allocated.
Proponents of the proposition say that Colorado voters supported taxing and legalizing marijuana with the expectation that tax revenues would be generated for the greater good of the state.
Critics of the proposition say the proposition is effectively a temporary tax increase.
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