Red Cliff votes ‘yes’ to tax on marijuana, ‘no’ to property tax
RED CLIFF — Voters looking at tax issues in town Tuesday said “yes” to taxing marijuana, but “no” to taxing property owners.
With fewer than 80 ballots cast, Red Cliff’s ballot issue 2H property tax found only 34 supporters — a few more than the 27 naysayers to ballot issue 2G, which asked voters if they want to tax marijuana businesses an additional 5 percent on top of the town’s existing sales tax.
Mayor Scott Burgess said he was disappointed the property tax did not pass.
“Our options now are fairly limited,” he said. “You may see us turning off street lights, getting rid of the town’s TV service, a lot of things will need to be discussed.”
Burgess said that discussion will be best held on Thursday night, as the town’s regular Tuesday council meeting was delayed due to the election and has been rescheduled for then.
“I really want to stress that Thursday is the time for everyone to come let us know what we should do,” he said. “For example, in the winter, a lot of people shovel snow out of their driveways and into the street, we need to have that conversation because right now we can’t afford to plow it.”
Burgess said while marijuana shops could give the town the needed sales tax boost to fund some of the basics, it’s far from an immediate solution.
“Unfortunately, people focused on what could happen with ballot issue 2G instead of what will happen with 2H,” he said. “These losses will happen immediately.”
Burgess also said he predicts the issue of marijuana retailers in Red Cliff will return to the ballot in November of 2014.
“There’s a contingent of people in town who want to ban (marijuana retailers), but they can’t right now,” he said. “You can only ban a marijuana establishment in even numbered years.”