A state law could put revenue from marijuana taxes back in Colorado residents’ pockets, much to the dismay of lawmakers.
The law, resulting from a 1992 amendment, dictates how much money the state can take from taxes before it has to return some of it to citzens. Tax revenue from the first year of recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado was intended to go towards schools and state projects.
Of the estimated $30.5 million in potential refunds from the first year of legal weed, each resident is reportedly entitled to just $7.63. All in all, the state took in about $50 million in pot revenue for the year, lower than the $70 million that was initially expected.
"It's just absurd," Democratic state Sen. Pat Steadman said. Republicans and Democrats are working together to figure out how to avoid having to return pot taxes to Colorado residents, and may even have to resort to asking voters to decide whether or not marijuana taxes should be exempt from refund requirement.
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Lawmakers weren't the only ones frustrated by the idea of having to return some revenue that was intended to go towards things like education and infrastructure. Some weed shoppers were surprised that they would potentially be getting the money back. "I have no problem paying taxes if they're going to schools," 25-year-old Maddy Beaumier said.
Not every resident, however, believes that they shouldn't get the money back. Some argued that the taxes are too high, and pot customers should either get the refund or the state should lower pot taxes to avoid another situation like the one it currently finds itself in.
"I don't care if they write me a check, or refund it in my taxes, or just give me a free joint next time I come in," Aurora resident David Huff said. "The taxes are too high, and they should give it back."