Pubdate: Fri, 27 Apr 2012
Source: Times-Herald, The (Vallejo, CA)
Copyright: 2012 The Times-Herald
Author: Paul Armentano


What was the point of the curious headline, "Vallejo marijuana tax 
brings in less than value of dispensary raid seizure"? Of course it 
does. When does a sales tax on a product ever generate greater 
revenue than the value of the product itself?

The more appropriate fiscal question the Times-Herald ought to be 
asking is: What is the cost to taxpayers of the VPD's recent 
dispensary raids? At a minimum, the forced closures alone have cost 
Vallejo tens of thousands of dollars in tax revenue that would have 
otherwise been available to the city. In fact, if the merchandise 
seized by VPD in its most recent actions against the Life Enhancement 
Services facility had been brought to market, the sales of it alone 
would have produced an additional $13,500 for the city's coffers. 
That figure, of course, does not even take into account the tens of 
thousands of additional taxpayer dollars VPD has spent in recent 
months investigating and executing these raids of taxpaying businesses.

Yet, despite the raids and voluntary closures of many of Vallejo's 
MMD's, the first month's implementation of the city's voter-approved 
sales tax generated some $44,000 in needed tax revenue. The real 
question is: Does that total even begin to offset the financial 
expenditures spent by VPD targeting many of these very same providers?

Paul Armentano

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