Politico article on marijuana taxes

Quoted accurately by Bernie Becker:

THE PERILS OF TAXING POT: Recreational marijuana vendors — the legal ones at least — have some pretty well-documented issues with taxes. They have trouble finding banks willing to do business with them, for instance, and they can’t take normal business tax deductions.

But Pat Oglesby, a former lawyer for the Joint Committee on Taxation, writes that there could be a broader issue with how states where recreational marijuana is or might become legal are taxing the product. (Recreational marijuana is legal in four states, and on the ballot next month in five others.) Writing at The Huffington Post, Oglesby says it’s a trap to tie tax collections solely to price, which he argues will plummet as more states decide to legalize it. All five states with ballot measures have a tax on price, but Oglesby gives California credit for also tacking on a weight tax. “If federal legalization is the ultimate goal, it makes sense to try different taxes, especially the quantity-based kind the federal government uses for tobacco and alcohol. Seeing what taxes work well will give Congress comfort,” he wrote.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-tax/2016/10/tax-reform-season-heats-up-216986#ixzz4NjODNVBd
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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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