Letter: Vote ‘yes’ on Proposition BB — for the kids | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Vote ‘yes’ on Proposition BB — for the kids

I am writing to you for one simple reason: children. There are several ballot initiatives in the upcoming election, and there is one that is not receiving much attention. Proposition BB allows the state to keep approximately $66 million from additional marijuana tax revenue and use it for public school construction, youth services and community resources, including education and awareness for youth on the dangers of marijuana consumption by young people. The alternative is to give each Colorado taxpayer an $8 refund.

In 2013, voters approved Proposition AA, which authorized excise and sales taxes on retail marijuana. However, the Colorado Constitution has special rules that apply to newly approved taxes in their first year. Because of this, the state owes taxpayers a one-time refund on additional revenue collected from the marijuana taxes unless voters allow the state to spend the refund amount. Proposition BB addresses this one-time need to see to it that these additional revenues fund school construction, law enforcement, substance-abuse prevention and youth services, as voters intended with Proposition AA.

Voters have twice voted in favor of taxes on legal marijuana sales, and passage of Proposition BB enacts what Colorado voters have decided already. Otherwise these funds would all have to be refunded to the marijuana industry and taxpayers. If Proposition BB fails, each full-time Colorado resident who files a 2015 state income tax return will be entitled to only an estimated $8 refund, amounting to $25 million. The remaining $31 million would be returned to marijuana cultivators and retail marijuana purchasers.

We believe that this investment in children is greatly needed and ask that you vote "yes" on Proposition BB. For more information on this important ballot issue, please visit http://www.voteyesonbb.org.

David Houggy

Aspen