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Marijuana Tax Rebate Expected In Colorado


marijuana cash industry bankingIn Colorado, the ‘Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights’ provision requires a rebate whenever revenue is higher than projected. That was the case with marijuana taxes, which exceeded expectations this year. Below is more information, from Colorado.Gov:

The proposed budget also accounts for two rebates required by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) of $167.2 million, assuming current law and the September forecast by the Office of State Planning and Budget. These include $30.5 million in the current fiscal year for new marijuana taxes. Total state revenue is higher than projected in the election blue book for 2013’s Proposition AA. Because the estimate was low, under TABOR, the state must refund the money being collected or ask voters again to keep it. Meanwhile, current revenue projections indicate a $136.6 million refund for revenue above the Referendum C cap in FY 2015-16. If they materialize, these rebates would go out under existing formulas via tax credits or sales tax refunds when people file their 2016 taxes.

A lot of marijuana media outlets and organizations praised Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper for making this rebate possible, but he actually has nothing to do with it. The rebate is mandated, so whether John Hickenlooper likes it or not, that rebate is required unless Colorado citizens vote to give the money back to the state. I’m not sure what people were thinking when they lavished such praise on Colorado’s Governor, considering that the same press release that described the amount of the rebate also stated the following:

As it relates to the marijuana rebate, Hickenlooper said “It will be important to engage the legislature when session begins on the issue of marijuana rebates, and at this time, it would be unwise for the state to plan to spend any of those funds in advance of that discussion.”

Essentially, Colorado’s Governor punted the issue down the road and has deferred to the Colorado Legislature to determine how the rebate will happen. This is the same Governor that recently called marijuana legalization ‘reckless,’ so I’m not surprised that he wants to delay the marijuana tax rebate. Nonetheless, it’s a great thing for Colorado taxpayers. Not only does legalization in Colorado generate jobs, boost local economies, save Colorado huge sums of money by not directing that money towards marijuana enforcement, it also is resulting in higher tax revenues than expected. Why is every state not doing this?


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Johnny Green


  1. Oh, now you are touching on some sensitive stuff there David. Many of the “Dooms-day Prepper’s and black helicopter type” stuff is being proven true with greater frequency. If you don’t think the government (working with big business) is capable of orchestrating a massive and lengthy conspiracy that affected the lives of millions of people and generations of families then you haven’t been paying attention, aka marijuana prohibition. I do not trust any politician as far as I can throw them but I will take ones that speak to the freedoms this country promised and the rights the founders tried to give us over ones that openly encourage a platform based off their version of morality. Many people are not easily defined by a single label and those that are, generally, have a narrow minded view of the world. My comment may not give you a clear idea to my political leanings but that is because they are a hazy shade of grey, not black or white. Like Sara below, I will not be led down a path laid out by either party. YAY for legalization (sorry had to get back on subject, lol)

  2. Yes very valid point. Liberal’s prefer those who enjoy cannabis use vaporizer’s and edibles rather than smoke if possible. As for that wolf wearing sheep’s clothing, Rand Paul’s “States Right’s” baloney and views on race would have garnered support in 1862 South Carolina too. Paul is trying to fool single-issue voters such as cannabis supporter’s. He has never addressed what HIS own vision of cannabis reform would look like. It’s all broad-brushed Bull #$#@ . Paul tries to portray himself as a Libertarian. Let’s not forget he’s a Republican first, supports their circa 1956 political Party platform. And he’s loved on the ultra extreme far- right, Dooms-day Prepper’s and black helicopter type’s everywhere. Thanks.

  3. Captain Obvious on

    This is right out of the prohibitionist historical playbook since they knew it used to be unconstitutional for the government to tell you what you can and cannot put in your body. If they cant ban it, then they will ban it with prohibitive undue taxes, regulation, and bureaucracy while they work on banning it again with more debt spending. So much for ‘lower taxes,’ ‘free markets’, and ‘small government.’

  4. Another pot publication gets it wrong. The refunds have nothing to do with the amount of pot revenue collected, which was less than half of what was estimated. The refunds are coming because of another, separate provision in TABOR that says that if OVERALL state revenues are higher than what was estimated in the voter guide before the passage of Proposition AA (which enacted the pot taxes), then ALL of the revenue from the nex tax being proposed must be refunded, even if the actual revenue from that new tax comes in way below original estimates. This story is not about how awesome pot smokers have come to the rescue of public schools because they’re buying so much weed. It is about how public schools will not see ONE DIME of the pot money because of an idiotic provision in TABOR, despite the fact that 65 percent of voters approved Prop AA. It was the overall improving economy that increased total state revenues and thus will cause the pot revenue to be refunded.

  5. While I agree that extreme partisanship has made our government essentially dysfunctional, it is not true that both parties are equally at fault. In any event, liberals are about three times more likely to approve of legalization than conservatives, according to recent polls. It is true, however, that Rand Paul and others at that end of the spectrum support legalization on the basis of individual or states’ rights, and it is also true that some liberals want to determine what’s best for us, including our personal use of cannabis.

  6. Well said. I am all over the place with my political ideas, and realize that compromise is key. While I don’t entirely support the teaparty’s political agenda, the agendas of the Dems or Rep. don’t ring my bell either. For once, can’t we just embrace the thing we agree on – marijuana legalization – and not fall into the divisive path we are all being rounded up and led to, like cows to the slaughter house?

  7. ummmm, there are a lot of teabaggers that support choice via legalization just like there are a lot of democrats that support prohibition. alienating a segment of the population because of the opponents to your ideas in that segment is what has gotten us so divided in this country. my entire community is comprised of libertarians and conservatives and most I speak with do not think prohibition is working as intended and are open to reform. It is not just young people saying that either but many of the older good ole boy types. I don’t view it as liberal vs conservative vs alternative partyline agenda but rather those that understand stupidity and work against it and those that are stupid. I refuse to play the left-right game anymore. If more people stopped playing washingtons games we might actually begin to work together to fix whats broken. I assume you are a person with intelligence and you oppose stereotyping (like minorities, gays etc.)? I understand your comment but have to say its the same thing. There is good and bad in every segment of society but labeling the entire segment because of the bad is not reasonable is it?

  8. I’m looking forward to comments by the teabaggers. This is an excellent opportunity to lower taxes, but they’ll probably show what hypocrites they are by continuing to oppose legalization.

  9. Wait a gosh durn minute, I thought the tax benefits of legalized cannabis was a legend? I thought that the cost of addiction rehabilitation and the societal evils of reform laws would negate any tax revenue earned. I thought the cities would burn and the good citizens of planet Earth would never be the same again. Golly you mean Colorado earned so much in taxes that they have to give some back? You mean crime has not gone up and children are safe to play outside? You mean companies have not shuttered their store fronts due to lack of trustworthy, motivated employees? You mean the roads and highway do not run red with the blood of innocent motorists terrorized by stoned drivers?
    Hum, makes me wonder why my home state still is pushing the propaganda if there is proof, !!!!! >>>>PROOF<<<< !!!!!, from the 'guinea pig' states that prohibitionists are FUCKING LIARS in respect to everything related to cannabis reform. I wish I could take my states reps by the ears and rub their damn faces in this shit until they yell uncle. And this country wonders why its policies fail more than not. They are damn fools, liars, cheats and scum.

    Congratulations and thank you to Colorado (Washington, Alaska, D.C. and all the others) that have taken a sensible approach to a draconian policy from our fiends in the Capitol. Now if you would just lower the cost of living in your state a bit I would happily move my productive, hardworking, mind my own damn business, cannabis loving rear end there.

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