Breckenridge: Council eyes medical marijuana tax

New federal government rules probably won’t affect town plans

Would Breckenridge voters approve a sales tax on medical marijuana?

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Breckenridge Town Council will discuss a proposed ordinance that would levy a 5 percent sales tax on retail sales of medical marijuana starting Jan. 1, 2012. The tax could generate more than $40,000 annually for the town, but is subject to approval by voters under the TABOR amendment.

In a short memo council members, town attorney Tim Berry discussed the potential implications of a recent guidance memo from the U.S. Department of Justice, which appears to take aim at large-scale medical marijuana businesses.

Berry said he doesn’t think there’s been a wholesale shift in the federal government’s stance on state-regulated medical marijuana. But the last paragraph of the memo states that, “those who knowingly facilitate” businesses engaged in the cultivation, sale or distribution of medical marijuana may be subject to federal prosecution. Continue reading

Breckenridge town council eyes lift ticket, cannabis taxes

Breckenridge, Colorado.

The Breckenridge town council will discuss possible new sales taxes on lift tickets and other activities, as well as a special tax on medical marijuana at a May 25 retreat.

Town council to study new sources of revenue at May 25 retreat

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — A 2.5 percent tax on lift tickets could generate $1.5 million dollars for Breckenridge, according to a financial study prepared for next week’s town council retreat, when council members will once again study how the town can develop a steady revenue stream for marketing, and to bolster other areas of the budget.

A special tax on medical marijuana is also on the table for discussion at the retreat (8:15 a.m., River Mountain Lodge, May 25). Taxable sales at the town’s six dispensaries have soared in the past few months, from about $70,000 in February to $117,000 in March. The memo prepared for the retreat show the town could collect about $36,000 from a 3 percent tax.

Town manager Tim Gagen said the town council is getting closer and closer to moving ahead with proposals for both the taxes. The preferred option is to partner with the resort on a plan that benefits both the town and the ski area, he said. A lift ticket tax could be part of a broader amusement tax in the town that would apply to theater tickets, bar and restaurant cover charges, winter sleigh rise and summer fun park revenue, Gagen said, explaining that staff took a good look at other resort towns around the West to get an idea of how such taxes are administered and spent in other communities. Continue reading

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