Aurora studies increasing taxes on marijuana

AURORA, Colo. - On Monday, the Aurora City Council will move to adopt new voter approved taxes on recreational marijuana.
           
The increased taxes are concerning to some in the industry who say if taxes get too high -- the black market will thrive. At the ever-evolving high tech retail marijuana shop, Euflora, owner Jamie Perino keeps a close eye on taxation of the product.

"If people have to pay too much in taxes, they'll go back to the black market and we're going to lose the tax money anyway. And we're going back to funding that market," said Perino.

Aurora is the latest city to implement a special pot retail tax. This past November, voters approved a ballot issue to impose a 5 percent excise tax and a 2 percent sales tax on the sale of marijuana, in addition to state taxes.

"When you start talking about a 25 percent tax, what other industry is taxed at 25 percent?" said Perino.

The city of Aurora estimates tax revenues will increase by $2.4 million a year through the taxes. Perino says she supports taxes, but there must be a balance.
           
“But now, we're starting to get a little concerned that the more you push these taxes upon people, the more they're going to start to turn, to look into maybe getting their medical license again, which maybe they don't necessarily need. Or they go back to the black market," she said.

By comparison, the city of Denver has a 5 percent tax on marijuana, in addition to state taxes.
           
The Aurora tax will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

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