Town of Eagle marijuana tax overhaul sails to 20-point win
Ballot Issue 2d: preliminary results
EAGLE — Eagle’s marijuana tax overhaul rolled to a win during the Tuesday, Nov. 7, election with more than a 20 percent cushion.
Eagle is the only Eagle River Valley town to allow marijuana sales. Outside of Eagle, all of the Eagle River Valley’s marijuana retailers are in Edwards and Eagle-Vail, unincorporated areas of Eagle County under the county government’s jurisdiction.
It came down to supporting their local retailers, said Matt Solomon, Eagle town board member.
“Passing this initiative shows that we, as the town of Eagle, want to support our local businesses,” Solomon said.
Eagle has charged a marijuana purchase fee, in addition to its regular sales tax on all retail items, since it gave the green light to recreational marijuana sales.
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Under that system, Eagle charged a $1 fee for every recreational marijuana purchase up to $20. Above $20, it was $5 per transaction. Throw in the town’s existing 4.5 percent sales tax, Eagle County’s 4 percent sales tax, Colorado’s 15 percent state sales tax, and a $100 purchase costs you $126.
With Eagle voters approving the town’s proposed change, Eagle will charge a 2.5 percent tax on marijuana purchases, instead of the fees.
Under Eagle’s proposed plan, your $100 purchase would cost you $123.50, saving you $2.50.
Without this change to the town of Eagle’s retail marijuana sales structure, the way Eagle County’s marijuana tax question is written, the county would collect its tax in addition to the fee that Eagle collects for itself.
That would mean pot buyers in Eagle would pay double, a fee to the town and a tax to the county. That, Eagle’s town board said, would never do. By way of the ballot measure dropping the fees in favor of a flat tax, the town of Eagle’s tax will supersede the county tax, thus protecting its local reefer retailers and saving customers a couple of bucks.
Eagle’s successful ballot measure allows the town to increase its marijuana tax by 0.5 percent a year, capped at 5 percent.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.