Indexing: Oregon’s marijuana bill doesn’t get it.

A sustainable tax based on weight or volume needs to be indexed for inflation.  A new marijuana legalization bill in Oregon, House Bill 3371, fails that test.  http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb3300.dir/hb3371.intro.pdf.  The tax rate, $35 per ounce, can’t be proved wrong — or right.  But the history of alcohol taxation in recent years, where unindexed taxes have lost over half their real value since 1992, proves the value of indexing — if you can about revenue.  The answer is not hard to find:  the legalization bill in Maryland this year, HB 1453, indexes a $50 per ounce rate.

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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