Portlanders to vote on 3% marijuana tax

If passed, the tax on Portland recreational marijuana sales would be 20%

Budtender Trevor Hollis holds a pair of marijuana buds for a customer. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Budtender Trevor Hollis holds a pair of marijuana buds for a customer. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday giving voters a chance to weigh in on a 3% recreational marijuana tax.

The money raised would go towards drug and alcohol treatment, public safety, and support for small businesses.

Amanda Fritz talks to KOIN 6 News about a proposed pot tax, June 21, 2016 (KOIN)
Amanda Fritz talks to KOIN 6 News about a proposed pot tax, June 21, 2016 (KOIN)

The current state tax on recreational marijuana sales is 25%. Beginning January 1, that will drop to 17%, but cities and counties have the option of enacting a 3% local tax.

Portlanders will vote on the measure in the November 2016 election.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz proposed the tax, saying it would raise $3 million per year. The ballot measure would ensure the money doesn’t go into the general fund.

 

“There’ll be a robust conversation at council about, are these the right items to dedicate it to? There’s been some suggestions to not dedicate it at all or to put it to something that’s not related to marijuana use, and I think the taxes work best when there’s a clear nexus between the people who pay and the people who benefit and to make sure that that’s fair,” Fritz said.

Fritz doesn’t have an exact breakdown of what percentage of money will go to each cause, but says it will change every year based on input from the community during the budget process.

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