Tax examination could bring discussion about marijuana shops back to Avon |

Tax examination could bring discussion about marijuana shops back to Avon

The town of Avon has plans to examine its tax base in various ways over the next 12 months, which could bring up the topic of marijuana shops in town once again.

In 2012, more than 70 percent of Avon voters cast their ballot in favor of Amendment 64, which legalized the possession and consumption of marijuana in Colorado.

But in 2014, the Avon town council voted 6-1 in favor of banning pot shops in town.

Councilmember Chico Thuon, who was elected in 2018, said he would support the idea of a “luxury green spot” in Avon.

Thuon asked that the council “entertain the thought of potentially transforming some of the dead space in our town core” into a place where marijuana could be purchased “and capitalize on some of those revenues.”

Town manager Eric Heil said he would bring the idea back before the council on Jan. 26 as a potential addition to the town’s goals.

The transfer tax question

Thuon brought up the idea in the context of a comment on Avon’s 2% real estate transfer taxes in Avon, which he said was unpopular among a quarter or more of the voting population in Avon. Vail has a 1% transfer tax.

Town manager Eric Heil said a public real estate transfer tax analysis document will be forthcoming in 2021, as well.

“We are on track to have a presentation to the finance committee this month, and then from that I think we’ll be in a position to present that information to council, and then be able to publish that to the public on our website,” Heil told the council on Tuesday.

Councilmember Scott Prince said he would like to see an in-depth report on the real estate transfer tax.

“Rather than just having that go to the finance committee and then presented council, I’d really like to see robust public education and input,” Prince said. “So we can really ensure that we’re reaching out and communicating that analysis and really trying to get as much input as we can.”

Use tax to be pondered

Heil said the town also plans to find out how much of the town’s revenues come from visitors, and if the town should consider a use tax.

Heil said sales tax and use tax are “designed to go hand in hand, and compliment each other,” yet Avon has adopted a sales tax and not a use tax.

“We think it would be a worthwhile exercise to go through understanding the background and legality in Colorado around sales tax, and how (a use tax is) contemplated to be complimentary to a sales tax,” Heil said.

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