Impacts of Retail Marijuana Tax Proposal

On this year's Colorado ballot there are two big tax change proposals including Proposition AA, the 'Retail Marijuana Taxes' initiative.

A 'yes' vote on this measure would increase state sales taxes by $70 million annually, by adding taxes to retail marijuana.

Currently, Colorado has a 2.9 percent sales tax. Proposition AA would add a 10 percent sales tax for retail marijuana purchases on top of that for the customer to pay.

Local governments that allow the sale of retail marijuana would receive 15 percent of the proceeds from that tax, based on how much sales take place in their area.

The second part of Proposition AA would create a 15 percent excise tax for the retailer to pay after buying marijuana from the grower.

The retail marijuana businesses would be prohibited to use any portion of that special tax to cover expenses to collect the tax, commonly known as a "vendor fee," which is allowed for the collection of regular state sales tax.

The first $40 million dollars collected from that tax would go toward public school construction projects.

If Proposition AA passes, The Colorado Legislative Council estimates state revenue to increase around $100 million the first two fiscal years.

It's also estimated that implementing the proposition would cost more than $5 million during the same time frame.

It's important to note that all the provisions of Amendment 64 are still in effect even if Proposition AA doesn't pass.

If Proposition AA doesn't pass, there would be no additional taxes for retail marijuana, it would be sold with the standard 2.9 percent state sales tax.

Click here for our full report on the other big tax initiative on this year's ballot, Amendment 66.