HB2 op-ed in thehill.com

Excerpts from post: No middle ground will satisfy everyone. Folks on both sides — call them hardliners — sincerely yearn for victory based on principle and morality, and despise symbolic defeat. But a principled return to “pre-existing law and practice” sows pardon where there is injury, and it relegates the non-problem of the wrong bathroom to old, tried and true trespassing law — and to the jury.

[W]e can ask our leaders to sit down together and assemble a package to make the fighting stop.  As a Christian pastor put it: We can live together as brothers or perish together as fools. Continue reading “HB2 op-ed in thehill.com”

“Marijuana Taxes — Present and Future Traps” from State Tax Notes

Three killer traps threaten early cannabis taxes: a feeble tax base, inflexibility, and carveouts. Essential enforcement can’t be guaranteed. And a tax that sputters along today could conk out if an interstate race to the bottom or competing federal taxes materialize.

4-week paywall has ended.  Full text (7,000 words) of “Marijuana Taxes — Present and Future Traps” from State Tax Notes of January 23 is at marijuana-tax-traps-state-tax-notes-oglesby-1-23-17.  Here are intro and conclusion:

This article will examine:
• the facts on the ground for recreational marijuana taxes;
• inherent weaknesses in early taxes;
• three problems voters may overlook when legalizing marijuana;
• the specifics of 12 state legalization initiatives; and
• three potential post-enactment problems.


VI. Summing Up

It’s unclear that marijuana taxes will stand the test of time. Legal commerce itself could fade away with a new administration. If for-profit marijuana commerce endures, some kind of marijuana taxes will too. The tax base march of progress is likely to continue. And the tax burden can go up too. The soundness of state marijuana taxes will depend on the ability of legislatures to dodge special interests and to make midcourse corrections. But state constitutions make some initiative-passed laws inherently inflexible. Like initiatives, legislation faces threats from medical tax breaks and reliance on flimsy price-based taxes.

Post-enactment, any tax scheme faces the threat of inadequate enforcement. Interstate commerce will threaten state producer taxes, and federal tax dominance could vitiate even the soundest state tax. Voters like marijuana revenue for government. But state marijuana tax laws are likely to remain works in progress for a long time.

NORML suggests 280E compromise

“NORML believes that is essential that marijuana businesses be able to take tax deductions for standard expenses such as rent and employee compensation and benefits.  As part of a compromise package allowing those deductions, NORML would support the continuation of non-tax-deductibility of marijuana business advertising expenses.  For some citizens, advertising is a distraction, a red flag that can cause them to hesitate to support the sound policy of legalization. Continue reading “NORML suggests 280E compromise”

HB2 Freeze Is Better Than Notice

Republican friend with government experience writes:
“Please check WRAL website.  Governor had a news conference and announced his new proposal.
I think he made a colossal error in having a press conference and NOT informing Berger and Moore before he went public.  Makes it look like a publicity stunt, rather than a serious effort to reach a conclusion.
By the way, not sure it would have convinced Moore and Berger but gives them an excuse for criticizing the effort by Cooper as not serious.
Too much politics on both sides….”
On the politics, my friend makes a sincere point.
On the substance, the Governor’s giving 30-day notice just sets up the rules for any number of predictable fights.  The advantage of instead freezing pre-Charlotte-ordinance law as OK (and everything else as not OK) is that it stops the fighting.  And a series of fights is not what we need.

Continue reading “HB2 Freeze Is Better Than Notice”

TheHill.com piece on Repatriation Amnesty

Big business is holding US jobs hostage — Trump should not pay the ransom

BY PAT OGLESBY, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR – 02/01/17 10:00 AM EST http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/317227-big-business-is-holding-us-jobs-hostage-trump-should-not

 President Trump wants to create jobs. Global corporations want to trick him into giving them a tax cut. They are holding $2.5 trillion offshore. They’ll bring those trillions home and create jobs, they say. But first, America must give them a $500 billion tax windfall. No tax break, no jobs.

The president should have three problems with this repatriation tax amnesty:

It doesn’t work.
It sells out his base.
It rewards his enemies.

There is an easier way to “make America great again.” President Trump can make companies pay the tax without a tax cut, and then watch them bring the money home. Continue reading “TheHill.com piece on Repatriation Amnesty”

Estimating 280E revenue — data dump

This looks at 280E only. There’s a lot more income tax compliance, regardless of 280E, from legal businesses than from illegal businesses.

For 280E, There’s a ton of guesswork, but a conservative answer is that 280E should be bringing in at least about $180 million this year. Less conservatively, double that.

There are two pieces of the puzzle:

  1. How much tax does 280E bring in on a typical sale?
  2. How big is the market? That is, what is the dollar value of sales?

Continue reading “Estimating 280E revenue — data dump”