One-day tax break coming for Colorado marijuana buyers

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(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DENVER — A one-time tax break is coming for buyers of recreational marijuana in Colorado.

Under the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, voters must approve new taxes and in 2013, 25 percent taxes on recreational marijuana passed.

But under the law, any new taxes have to be waived and refunded if the state collects more than projections that were given to voters.

Last year, marijuana taxes totaled $58 million while the projection was $70 million. But because overall tax collections exceeded projections, the state must ask voters for permission to keep the money.

Also, taxes have to revert to zero on the first day of the new fiscal year, so state lawmakers passed a measure for a one-day tax waiver.

That day is Sept. 16, when a 10 percent sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax won’t be collected on recreational marijuana purchases.

The break could save buyers $50 off the price of a midgrade ounce of marijuana in the metro area. A measure on the November ballot will ask voters if the state can keep the excess tax money.

In the first five months of 2014, the first year recreational marijuana became legal to sell in the state, Colorado collected $25 million. In the first five months this year, revenues spiked to $44 million.

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