City of Boulder Recreational Marijuana Tax, Question 2A (November 2013)

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A City of Boulder Recreational Marijuana Tax, Question 2A ballot question was on the November 5, 2013, election ballot for voters in the city of Boulder, which is in Colorado. It was approved.

This measure authorized the city of Boulder to impose a sales tax on recreational marijuana. This tax is in addition to any state wide tax and regular sales tax. The tax is expected to raise $3,360,000 annually or whatever is collected with a 5% excise tax and 3.5% sales tax in 2014, with the option of these increasing to 10% each in years after.[1]

Coloradans also approved Proposition AA, which authorized a state-wide 15% excise tax and 10% sales tax, with the option of an increase to 15%.

Election results

Below are the election results as of 8:00 am, with approximately 97% of expected ballots counted.

Boulder Question 2A
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 18,874 66.44%
No9,53333.56%
These results are from the Boulder County elections office.

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

SHALL CITY OF BOULDER TAXES BE INCREASED BY ($3,360,000 FIRST FULL FISCAL YEAR DOLLAR INCREASE) ANNUALLY AND BY SUCH AMOUNTS AS ARE RAISED ANNUALLY THEREAFTER BY THE IMPOSITION OF AN EXCISE TAX OF 5 PERCENT IN 2014 AND UP TO 10 PERCENT THEREAFTER ON THE CULTIVATION FACILITY AT THE AVERAGE MARKET RATE AT THE POINT OF TRANSFER FROM THE CULTIVATION FACILITY AND AN ADDITIONAL SALES AND USE TAX OF 3.5 PERCENT IN 2014 AND UP TO 10 PERCENT THEREAFTER ON RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA AS PROVIDED IN ORDINANCE NO. 7916 COMMENCING JANUARY 1, 2014 WITH SUFFICIENT REVENUES FROM THE EXCISE AND SALES AND USE TAX TO BE USED FOR PUBLIC SAFETY, ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES AND FOR COMPREHENSIVE SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAMS INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION PREVENTION, TREATMENT, EDUCATION, RESPONSIBLE USE, INTERVENTION, AND MONITORING, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON YOUTH, AND WITH THE REMAINDER USED BY THE GENERAL FUND; AND IN CONNECTION THEREWITH,

SHALL THE FULL PROCEEDS OF SUCH TAXES AT SUCH RATES AND ANY EARNINGS THEREON BE COLLECTED, RETAINED, AND SPENT, AS A VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE WITHOUT LIMITATION OR CONDITION, AND WITHOUT LIMITING THE COLLECTION, RETENTION, OR SPENDING OF ANY OTHER REVENUES OR FUNDS BY THE CITY OF BOULDER UNDER ARTICLE X SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION OR ANY OTHER LAW?[1][2]

Support

  • The City Council

Arguments in favor

The League of Women Voter's of Boulder County listed the following arguments in its voter guide on Question 2A:

1. While use of marijuana will be legal for those over the age of 21, enforcement will be needed to ensure that access is restricted for those under 21.
2. Current substance abuse education efforts targeting youth are not adequate to address the additional need that will be created in response to the decreased perception of risk and increased access.
3. Effective and coordinated education about risks, targeted at youth and parents, is key to minimizing harm to youth.
[3][2]

Opposition

Opponents

  • Libertarian Party of Boulder County[4]

Arguments against

The League of Women Voter's of Boulder County listed the following arguments in its voter guide on Question 2A:

1. The tax burden is already high on businesses and should not be increased.
2. There is an uncertainty about how the tax dollars will be allocated and spent.
3. Higher taxes will increase the cost of recreational marijuana forcing citizens to return to the black market for more affordable marijuana.
[3][2]

Supporting its endorsement of a "no" vote, the Boulder Weekly staff argued that, while the city proposes to use the tax revenue from Question 2A on marijuana use regulation and drug treatment, especially of children or young adults, there is no evidence that regulation beyond the state level regulation funded by Proposition AA or more drug abuse treatment funding will be at all necessary.[5]

Media endorsements

Opposition

  • The Boulder Weekly: The Boulder Weekly staff, despite giving the statewide marijuana tax increase a slightly reluctant "yes" endorsement, has urged voters to vote "no" on the Boulder City marijuana tax, Question 2A. They wrote: "More seriously, Boulder has not effectively demonstrated the need for additional regulation on the city level that goes beyond what the state will provide, nor has it shown that there is any reason to worry that recreational marijuana will result in increased use among children.[...] The taxes proposed by Ballot Issue 2A are excessive and unnecessary. Vote no."[5]
  • The Denver Post: The editorial board of the Denver Post also supported Proposition AA but rejected Question 2A as excessive, writing, "You have to wonder if taxation that high actually would even drive Boulder residents — not known as unfriendly to taxes — back to a black market.[...] Its overreach. Ballot Issue 2A deserves a "no" vote.[6]

Similar measures

Statewide

See also: Marijuana on the ballot

Approveda Colorado Proposition AA, Taxes on the Sale of Marijuana (2013)
Approveda Colorado Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Amendment 64 (2012)

Local

See also: Local marijuana tax on the ballot

Approveda City of Denver Additional Marijuana Sales Tax, Question 2A (November 2013)
Approveda Town of Eagle Marijuana Occupation Tax, Question 2F (November 2013)

See also

External links

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