Colorado will vote on increasing taxes on marijuana to fund out-of-school learning. The question of whether or not to increase the tax has been a hot topic in the state, with some arguing that it is unfair for low income families and others saying there are more important things than education.
Coloradoans will vote on hiking marijuana taxes to fund out-of-school-learning. The centennial airport flight path is a proposed amendment that would allow the state’s voters to decide if they want to hike the tax on marijuana sales from 10% to 15%.
In November, Colorado voters will decide whether or not to raise marijuana taxes in order to increase financing for out-of-school learning activities.
Last Monday, the Colorado Secretary of State stated that proponents of Initiative 25, dubbed the Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program, are expected to have collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
To qualify, supporters of the so-called LEAP initiative required 124,632 valid signatures, which they received with a total of 203,335 signatures. The Elections Division estimates that Initiative 25 received slightly over 145,000 legitimate signatures after analyzing a 5% random sample of the submitted signatures.
Starting next year, the ballot proposal would impose a new 3% tax on recreational marijuana, which would be increased to 5% by 2024. An study by the state’s neutral Legislative Council predicts that it would earn $137.6 million per year if fully implemented.
In addition, Initiative 25 would move $22 million in state land board income from the Permanent Fund to the State Public School Fund each year, as well as a similar amount from the General Fund to the LEAP Fund.
These funds would be used to create a low-income credit that would assist low-income families pay for extracurricular activities like as tutoring, mental health counseling, special services for special needs kids, and job training programs, among other things.
In a statement issued by the initiative’s backers, Stephanie Perez-Carrillo, a manager with the Colorado Children’s Campaign, stated, “Colorado kids who were failing in school before the epidemic are much farther behind today.” “Through the LEAP project, Colorado will become the first state in the nation to provide a statewide strategy to assisting children in recovering from existing COVID losses while simultaneously establishing a long-term plan to avoid future opportunity gaps.”
The CCC isn’t alone in its support for the bill. A nonpartisan group of ten state senators, almost a dozen state House Republicans, and notable former officials from both parties, including former governors Bill Owens and Bill Ritter, and former U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Eldorado Springs, are among the other supporters.
Representatives from the marijuana industry, on the other hand, have voiced worry that continuing to raise marijuana taxation would push consumers to the illegal market.
Last month, Peter Marcus, a spokesperson for Terrapin Care Station, told Colorado Politics, “It’s less about the particular problem and more about the slippery slope.” “State legislators carefully crafted a cannabis tax system that combines income generation with the preservation of a controlled industry. We will eventually tax cannabis to the point that it empowers an illicit market and causes regulated marijuana to collapse. We can’t balance the state budget with a slew of new levies that don’t address the state’s fundamental problems. This is an erroneous proposal.”
Colorado Freedom Force, a conservative group that opposes tax hikes in general, is also against the bill.
“While some of those funds may get to the youngsters, the program essentially provides a new trough for bureaucrats and politicians to feed their favorite projects and their own pockets,” the organization said in an email to supporters.
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