Pubdate: Sat, 28 May 2016
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2016 The Oregonian


Bud bonus: We supported the legalization of recreational marijuana in 
2014 for a number of reasons, from our belief in the reasonable 
exercise of personal liberty to the fact that recreational use was 
basically legal already thanks to the state's medical marijuana 
program. Way, way down on the list was the potential for recreational 
weed to generate piles of tax revenue. Legalization would make sense 
even if it produced nothing for state or local governments.

Still, $10.5 million is nothing to sneeze at. That's how much the 
state has collected in only the first three months of taxed marijuana 
sales, Noelle Crombie of The Oregonian/OregonLive reported this week. 
At that rate, the state will pull in about $43 million in tax revenue 
from pot sales this year, according to the Legislative Revenue 
Office. That number might not seem large compared to, say, the 
billions of dollars the state collects in personal income taxes each 
year. But it's a heck of a lot more than the $2 million to $3 million 
in revenue economists had expected the state to collect this year.

The revenue flood will likely drop next year along with the pot tax, 
which is currently 25 percent. But even taxed at the rate of 17 
percent (up to 20 percent in cities and counties that tack on local 
taxes), the sale of marijuana is expected to bring in more than $30 
million next year. Again, not a huge sum, but enough to make you 
wonder why Oregonians didn't legalize recreational pot years ago - 
and why more states haven't legalized it yet.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom