Cities Argue For A Bigger Share Of Pot Tax Revenue

WASHINGTON: When voters in four U.S. states — Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon — approved recreational marijuana sales, part of the appeal was the promise of a new revenue source to buoy cash-strapped cities and states.

But tensions are growing in those four states over how the tax rewards from pot sales should be divided. Local governments want to get what they say is their share of pot tax revenues.

Under Oregon‘s new pot law, cities get 10 percent of the tax revenues. Even though the state’s retail industry doesn’t start until next year, city leaders are already saying their share is not nearly enough.

“Somebody else thought they knew how much we were going to need,” says Scott Winkels, lobbyist with the League of Oregon Cities.

Winkels argues that if pot becomes more available, more people will use it and inevitably do something stupid — and cities will bear the costs, not the state.