Could Colorado get any more 420 chill?
Buying legal weed is expensive these days, no thanks to the whopping 10 percent sales tax that Colorado tacks onto each little sticky nugget. But, thanks to a weird glitch in Colorado's constitution, there will actually be one day this year where that bank-breaking tax doesn't apply.
That's because on September 16th, Colorado is holding a one-time-only holiday from taxes on legal weed. On that day, the price of weed will just be the price of weed. Also on that day, Taco Bell might run out of beefy cheesy things, so prepare yourself mentally and phyiscally for that.
The little-noticed provision is actually part of a larger bill that Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law Thursday that includes a permanent tax cut on recreational pot sales in 2017. In July of that year, recreational pot taxes will be lowered from 10 percent to 8 percent.
The impetus for all this is the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. This constitutional provision requires voters to approve new taxes based on estimates of collections and state spending. If the actual amount exceeds the estimates, refunds are necessary. There's already been much debate about this already; Colorado made way too much money on legal weed in 2014 than the bill allowed for. The State actually considered sending tax refund checks back to all Coloradans earlier this year, but then decided it'd be too time-consuming and inequitable, as some counties in Colorado don't exercise their right to legal weed at all. So, they settled on this magical tax-free pot holiday instead. We'll take it!
"This fiscal glitch that we have with the constitution … that's part of the magic of living in Colorado," Hickenlooper said. Yeah … living somewhere where "fiscal glitches" translate not into chaos, but into "magic" is pretty fucking cool, so eat shit, Maryland.
That, and there's still a thriving black market in the state.
"We still have a black market, and we want to moderate our taxes to make sure that the risk of someone selling illegally. … We want to eliminate that," Hickenlooper said. "And one way is to make sure there is not as large a price differential."
It's a little late to be realizing that, but considering that 40 percent of marijuana tax revenue will be going to Colorado schools, it's not really that costly of a misstep. Better to keep the black market alive and teach kids the difference between "there" and "their" than to have a bunch of idiot children and no underground weed dealers named Brosef.
The people in charge chose the Sept. 16 date for the tax holiday because the end-of-the-year fiscal report is certified the previous day. The date is also Mexican Independence Day, so … party on, Wayne!