Letter: Marijuana taxes should fund public improvements in Eagle-Vail, where most shops reside
October 26, 2017
Please vote "no" on the Eagle County ballot proposal 1A to tax marijuana sales.
This sounds like a good idea superficially, but not the way it has been proposed. Most of the marijuana sales in Eagle County occur in Eagle-Vail. This is because a previous board of the Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association revised their rules and covenants to allow pot shops. Then this mistake exploded, and all the other pot shops flowed in. Now Eagle-Vail bears the disproportionate burden of this activity, so it should receive some sales tax revenues to offset some of the damage.
No part of this proposed tax benefits Eagle-Vail. The County Commissioners just want to exploit Eagle-Vail. They use the sympathetic "mental health" card for part of the use, but they really just want more general revenue for mainly general purposes.
Eagle-Vail is not a town with other revenue sources. It is an "unincorporated" part of the county, so it depends on Eagle County to fund public works. Eagle-Vail's recreation facilities are public amenities available to all Eagle County residents. Eagle-Vail's property tax base is too small to come close to funding the cost of these public facilities, and they are going to have to close some, if not all. Eagle-Vail is facing a huge deficit. Revenue from a county tax on marijuana sales in Eagle-Vail can help fix this problem.
Eagle-Vail will collapse without a new source of appropriate public funding. Eagle County's proposal for a marijuana sales tax comes at the expense of appropriate new funding for Eagle-Vail public recreation.
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Revenue from a county tax on marijuana sales should include revenue for Eagle-Vail. Please vote "no" on 1A.
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