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Marijuana Revenue Tinkerings
Dude, rural counties got the munchies

Editor's note: This is the fourth in a multipart series exploring tax measures before the Oregon Legislature during the 2021 session

Marijuana taxes have become a big part of Oregon's budget, brining in a whopping $133,150,349 in fiscal year 2020. 40% of that goes to schools and 15% goes to the State Police, so over half of the revenue is offsetting general fund money that would otherwise have to be paid by Oregon income taxpayers. It's play money for the Governor and the Legislature.

Since the passage of Ballot Measure 91 in 2014, marijuana has been seen as a cash cow, and like many other addictive products, there is incentive to turn up the spigot and generate even more revenue -- or at least change the rules for distributing the revenue.. People who are opposed in general to marijuana might support a tax increase also.

Right now, local taxes on pot are capped at 3% and have to be approved by the voters. State Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane) has a proposal, HB 2015, which would raise that cap to 10%. Some might argue that it's a sin tax and might deter some from weed, while generating revenue for local communities.

He's also introduced HB 2014 which changes the formula for redistributing marijuana revenue to cites -- currently based solely on population -- and bases it partly on sales.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-25 09:32:15Last Update: 2021-03-20 21:46:31



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