Phasing in marijuana taxes — Monterey County

It sounds like taxing jurisdictions are waking up to the shrewdness of keep marijuana taxes low at first, but not forever, as the industry matures.  Monterey County, California, has been considering a plan to phase marijuana tax rates up:

“Developed with the help of consultant HdL and Associates, the tax would be phased in over a five-year period. For sales, the tax would start at 5 percent of gross receipts per fiscal year effective Jan. 1, and increasing 2.5 percent every fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020, to a maximum rate of 10 percent. For general cultivation, the tax rate would start at $15 per square foot of canopy, or growing area effective Jan. 1, and increase by $5 every fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020, to a maximum rate of $25 per square foot. Nursery cultivation involving only clones, immature plants, seeds and other agricultural products used for general cultivation, would be taxed at $2 per square foot of canopy up to a maximum of $5 per square foot.”

Here’s a less-detailed report of the approval for the ballot:

“The proposal calls for a sales tax starting at 5 percent and increasing by 2020 to a maximum 10 percent rate, and taxing cultivation at a starting rate of $15 per square foot of “canopy” or growing area and increasing to a maximum of $25 per square foot.”

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Another report indicates that Salinas voters will get a chance to approve low early rates, which elected officials can apparently raise without another vote.

Note that these are all taxes that would apply to medical marijuana.

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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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