NYC Comptroller Proposes Marijuana Tax

A lengthy proposal from the Comptroller of New York City to tax marijuana proposes a 20 percent marijuana excise.  The proposal assumes “that, as a matter of public policy, a goal of legalization would not be to lower the retail price.”  That language could be read as being indifferent to price (legalization has several goals, but lowering the price is not one of them; maybe reducing alcohol abuse is not a stated goal either).  That reading falls short of the  cautious approach of saying that a goal would be to maintain at least the current retail price, which would be clear if the proposal had said, ” a goal of legalization would be not to lower the retail price.”  But it’s a step in the direction of not overreaching — and the 20 percent tax is said to “roughly offset the price decline that would be expected after legalization, leaving retail prices unchanged.”  That’s if the estimate is accurate.

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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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