Denver auditor suggests 3.5 percent tax for marijuana sales

Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher in 2006

COLORADO: Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher disagrees with Mayor Michael Hancock’s recreational marijuana tax target, arguing the city should seek a starting tax rate of 3.5 percent instead of the mayor’s suggested 5 percent tax rate.

Gallagher warned Denver City Council members in a letter sent to Councilman Charlie Brown Monday, that the city’s5 percent tax rate planrisks sending users back to the “dark shadows of the black market.”

“He wants the city to be very careful about not putting too much of a tax on it, because you (could) then defeat the purpose of what Amendment 64 was meant to do, which is not buying on the black market,” said Denis Berckefeldt, spokesman for the auditor.

The city expects it will have to spend about $9.4 million on education, enforcement and regulation of the pot industry, for which the tax would compensate.

The council will determine a starting tax rate and ceiling at its meeting Monday. The city will then pose those rates to voters in November. If approved, the council can raise the recreational marijuana tax rate to the determined cap.

Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz said she is concerned with providing Denver with the necessary resources to regulate this new industry.

Read more:Denver auditor suggests 3.5 percent tax for marijuana sales – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23717369/denver-auditor-suggests-3-5-percent-tax-marijuana#ixzz2Zyui3n3r
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