Excess marijuana revenue will stay with the state; Colorado passes Proposition BB

DENVER - Colorado voters approved Proposition BB in the Nov. 3 election, therefore deciding to let the state keep a surplus in pot tax revenue.

Proposition BB passed with 66 percent of votes in favor of it.

See election results here.

Colorado law required the vote because the revenue exceeded the initial estimate. The overall revenue was more than voters approved for a marijuana tax in 2013. TABOR requires a projection to be made in a tax’s first year.

The refund is equal to the amount of revenue collected from the voter-approved taxes on retail marijuana in the 2014-15 budget year. Proposition BB gave voters the option to allow the state to keep and spend $66 million or return it. The majority of the money, $40 million, will go to school construction. The rest is for school programs and drug education.

If voters opted to return, $25 million would have gone to taxpayers in the form of a refund; $24 million would have gone to marijuana growers and $17 million to marijuana users.

Depending on income, voters would have gotten back between $6 and $32.

Denver residents were also asked to grant the city and county the right to keep and spend the revenue the city has collected, $5.3 million, from its own local marijuana taxes. That measure passed as well.

Opponents have said allowing the state to keep the money is a virtual tax increase; supporters disagreed because a deliberate tax hike was never made.


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