Thursday, November 1, 2012
Pat Oglesby (Center for New Revenue) has posted Gangs, Ganjapreneurs, or Government: Marijuana Revenue Up for Grabs (State Tax Notes, Vol. 66, No. 4, October 22, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Polls say half the country wants to end the war on marijuana. Legalization could provide new revenue for government, but how? Six 2012 ballot initiatives show a splintered legalization movement with an amazingly wide range of revenue ideas.
Three states vote on November 6. Colorado’s Amendment 64 anticipates taxes and caps them temporarily. Oregon’s Measure 80 generates revenue with a state marijuana monopoly. Washington’s Initiative 502, with three levels of excises, contains the highest taxes ever proposed to voters, and is officially estimated to bring in new taxes of over a half billion dollars a year. Three California initiatives failed to make the ballot.
I describe these revenue plans and their revenue estimates. I rank them one through six by revenue strength and likely federal forbearance.