Marijuana Sales Tax Less Than Expected
COLORADO– According to economists at Colorado Legislative Council, 2014 marijuana sales tax revenues were not as great as anticipated for their first year of sales. Though proponents of the legalization of the controlled substance argued large tax revenues for the state, those original estimates were severely inflated. Now able to analyze the revenue data, the previously estimated $100 million is closer to $58.7 million in tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana. The reduced price of medical marijuana, sale of illegal marijuana, few number of stores open, and high prices of recreational marijuana are speculated to be reasons for the lower sales than originally estimated, according to the Council economists. Currently in Colorado, buyers of recreational marijuana pay the state sales tax of 2.9% in addition to the 10% marijuana sales tax and 15% excise tax on the average market rate of retail marijuana, totaling 27.9%.
The federal government wants to get their share of the tax revenue as well by imposing a 50% excise tax plus an annual $1,000 occupational tax on all workers in the industry. The Marijuana Tax Equality Act, also known as H. R. 501, would abolish marijuana prohibition on the federal level, helping those in the industry to not violate federal laws. To date, the bill has been introduced to U.S. Congress House of Representatives, but has not passed.
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