Report on Fiscal Benefits to Passing Marijuana Legalization
The Colorado Center on Law and Policy has released a report on the state and local budget impact of Amendment 64, the November ballot initiative to legalize personal adult use of marijuana in Colorado. The report finds Amendment 64 would:
- initially result in $60 million annually in combined revenue and savings for state and local governments in Colorado, which could double to more than $100 million within the first five years of implementation;
- save local and state law enforcement officials more than $12 million in the first year of operation;
- generate $24 million annually in state revenue for the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) capital construction program
- create more than 350 new jobs, the majority of which will be in the construction industry.
Using the latest research and best available estimates of consumption and price, this analysis concludes that Amendment 64 would, in the years prior to 2017 generate over $32 million in new revenue for the state budget, over $14 million in new revenue for local governments and would result in savings of more than $12 million in state and local law enforcement spending. Of the new state dollars, Amendment 64 would direct $24 million to the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program that would result in the creation of 372 new jobs in cities and towns across Colorado with 217 of those jobs in the construction industry.
...Colorado's Amendment 64 proposes a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol in Colorado. In addition to state and local sales taxes, the initiative directs the General Assembly to enact an excise tax of up to 15 percent on wholesale sales of non-medical marijuana. This limit can be increased after 2017.
- $12 million in instant savings for the year following legalization because of reduced criminal costs. As courts and prisons adapt to fewer and fewer violators, annual savings (compared to a pre-legalization year’s budget) will rise toward the long run savings level of $40 million.
- $24 million new tax revenue generated from excise taxes on the wholesaler (all of which is promised to the Colorado Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund)
- $8.7 million in new state sales tax revenue
- $14.5 million in new local sales tax revenue
- 372 new jobs (217 of which are construction) from school construction projects on behave of the Building Excellent Schools Today Program
- $60 million total in combined savings and additional revenue for Colorado’s Budget with a potential for this number to double after 2017.
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