Snowmass voters in favor of an added 5 percent sales tax on marijuana | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass voters in favor of an added 5 percent sales tax on marijuana

In a landslide first set of election results, Snowmass voters supported the town imposing a 5 percent sales tax on marijuana.

Early numbers reported from Pitkin County as of 10 p.m. Tuesday showed an overwhelming 70.16 percent of Snowmass voters in favor of the added sales tax, while 29.84 percent were opposed.

Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney said Tuesday night he believes the results are "reflective of the community."

"I think those that want marijuana are happy to tax it to legitimize it," Kinney said, "and those that don't want marijuana think it should be taxed as much as possible and penalize it."

While marijuana sales are not yet legal in Snowmass Village, they are expected to be next year.

The total revenue that the town expects marijuana sales in Snowmass to generate from all taxes (including the added 5 percent sales tax) is between $194,967 and as much as $584,900 annually.

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The state levies a 15 percent excise tax and 10 percent sales on recreational marijuana across all of its jurisdictions and some municipalities tack on an additional sales tax of as much as 5 percent. The city of Aspen does not levy an added tax.

Altogether, the town projects that pot shops would sell between $1.9 million and $5.8 million in Snowmass Village, according to town documents.

Dispensaries have been under a moratorium in Snowmass Village since 2013, after Colorado voters approved recreational pot sales in November 2012.

Snowmass Town Council at a meeting in October extended the moratorium for a third time until April 1.

Should voters approve the added marijuana sales tax, the dollars would go into the town of Snowmass' general fund.

The council may further specify where the money will be spent at a later date.

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