Marijuna tax rates in Oregon and Alaska

August 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Rates of $35 an ounce for potent flowers, $10 an ounce for less potent leaves, and $5 per immature plant: Those are the tax rates in Oregon’s Measure 91, which recently qualified for the November 2014 ballot. A reader asks: Are they too high? Are they too low? And how about the rate of $50 per ounce, reducible by regulations for (presumably less potent) parts of the plant, in Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2?   To answer a different  question, the advantage that Oregon and Alaska have over other western states is that their internal laws don’t freeze voter-passed tax laws.  Oregon and Alaska can adjust to circumstances that no one can now envision — by changing tax rates as needed.

« Read the rest of this entry »

“Laws To Tax Marijuana,” 59 State Tax Notes 251-80 (January 24, 2011)

August 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Laws To Tax Marijuana — published version in State Tax Notes is the official version, but State Tax Notes would not print a Table of Contents, which is available in Laws To Tax Marijuana — Manuscript with Table of Contents.

Marijuana Tax Options — slides for August 18 panel for tobacco tax officials

August 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

The Federation of Tax Administrators,, folks who administer and collect state taxes, are having me on a panel about marijuana taxes for their Tobacco Tax section, in Knoxville, August 18.  Final slides are at FINAL Oglesby FTA Tobacco section aug 18 noon slides for Knoxville.

Sin tax defined

August 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

A sin tax is “a sumptuary tax specifically enforced on a good which is addictive, self-destructive, and socially undesirable while raising revenue for pro-social activities.”

Helping “deserters” is patriotic?

July 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

My old friend and former Joint Committee on Taxation Foreign Team colleague Patrick Driessen, no longer on staff, emails:

“I just congratulated a former JCT attorney for assisting on an inversion.  I told him that, notwithstanding what Secretary Lew just said, anybody helping to complete an inversion IS being a real patriot, on the theory that If we only have 10 more inversions this year, then we get something like the Levin bill which is at best a 7874 bandaid.  But if we get 25 more inversions this year, people will start looking at formulary and tell the lawyers to find a new sacred cow — other than transfer pricing, and with 50 more inversions this year, we get what I really want, which is to abolish the corporate tax, raise the individual income tax rates at the top, put in a VAT with a demogrant, and tighten the estate and gift tax (including policing the many phony self-glorifying foundations out there).  « Read the rest of this entry »

Oregon marijuana revenue: $38 million in year 1

July 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Oregon marijuana tax revenue would amount to $38.5 million in year 1, says ECONorthwest.  The work was paid for by proponents, but I don’t detect bias.

The estimate assumes

– no movement from medical to recreational (because of low taxes, high medical fees).

– 60 percent market share for black/gray market after legalization. If law enforcement steps up, that number should go down over time.

– Big impact of 280E on growers (but that’s unrealistic, since nearly all growers’ expenses are deductible cost of goods sold; 280E hurts retailers much, much more – it hits anyone who does marketing or has a showroom).

– Steady prices during the first two years of legalization (after a minor initial drop). I would think prices would start dropping pronto.  But they might spike at first, as they have in CO and WA, though Oregon aims at creating more lead time to get supply ready.


Beyond the Swiss Army Knife for medical marijuana

July 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Tax has been called the “Swiss Army Knife of public policy.”  In the two states where recreational marijuana is legal, medical marijuana patients don’t pay tax on what they buy.  That’s one way of providing relief to sick people.  Berkeley, California, is considering another way.  The New York Times reports:  “marijuana dispensaries will have to set aside 2 percent of their product — which must be of equivalent quality to the marijuana they’re selling at market prices — and give it free to city residents with incomes below $32,000.” « Read the rest of this entry »


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