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How High Are Recreational Marijuana Taxes in Your State?

April 26, 2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

According to Katherine Loughead and Morgan Scarboro of the Tax Foundation public opinion increasingly favors the legalization of recreational marijuana, a growing number of states must determine how to tax legal sales of cannabis.

Will New Jersey Be next? One of the biggest signals of change has been the election of Democrat Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, and the incumbent Governor of New Jersey. He’s has already instilled a belief that New Jersey will embrace the plant recreationally.

To date, nine states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, but only eight of these jurisdictions have legal markets. The table below highlights the states that have implemented legal markets and levy taxes on recreational marijuana.

Of the states with legal markets, Alaska is the only state that does not impose some form of sales tax on end-users. In each of the other states, taxes levied on the sale of marijuana far exceed the general sales tax rate levied by that state:

In Alaska, which has no states sales tax, marijuana growers pay a tax of $50 per ounce when selling the product to marijuana dispensaries or retailers. While the cost of taxes paid is passed on to customers in the form of higher prices, end-users do not pay a sales tax when purchasing marijuana.

In California, cultivators pay a per ounce of product tax at a rate of $9.25 per ounce of marijuana flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. In addition, retailers collect from customers a 15 percent excise tax on the average market price of the product.

Colorado imposes a 15 percent excise tax on the sale of marijuana from a cultivator to a retailer. In addition, the state levies a 15 percent sales tax (up from 10 percent in 2017) on retail sales to customers.

Maine legalized recreational marijuana in 2016 by ballot initiative but has not yet established a legal market. Pending legislation would tax sales of marijuana at a rate of 10 percent and levy an excise tax on cultivators at a rate of $335 per pound of flower, $94 per pound of marijuana trim, $1.50 per immature plant or seedling, and $0.30 per seed. Governor LePage, however, has vowed to veto the legislation.

Massachusetts, concerned its previous ballot initiative approved rate of 3.75 percent was too low, raised the excise tax rate to 10.75 percent in 2017.

Nevada imposes an excise tax on the sale of marijuana by a cultivator to a distributor. This rate is set at 15 percent of the Fair Market Value as determined by the Nevada Department of Taxation. In 2017, Nevada created a new 10 percent sales tax paid by consumers.

Oregon, which does not have a general sales tax, levies a 17 percent sales tax on marijuana.
Washington levies a 37 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana.

Vermont legalized the possession of marijuana this year but did not create a legal market. D.C. also allows for possessing and growing of marijuana but does not allow for sales in a legal market.

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New Jersey on the Verge of Becoming Greece

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March  20,2018

by Daniel J. Mitchell  (https://fee.org/articles/new-jerseys-fiscal-train-wreck/?utm_source=zapier&utm)

Trenton NJ, this is from an article called , New Jersey’s Fiscal Train Wreck, Just ask Greece how well continually raising taxes and spending works.

by Daniel J. Mitchell, Daniel J. Mitchell is a Washington-based economist who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.

He starts with , here’s something especially amazing from a bit more than five decades in the past. New Jersey used to have no state income tax and no state sales tax.

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. The basket case of New Jersey used to be a mid-Atlantic version of New Hampshire. But once the sales tax was imposed in 1966 and the income tax was imposed in 1976, it’s been all downhill ever since.

An article in the City Journal helps explain the state’s fiscal decay.

Brendan Byrne, a Democratic former governor of the Garden State, …told mayors that the state would need a “large revenue package”… The heart of the package would be a new statewide income tax, which went into permanent effect in 1977. Byrne promised that the additional money would help relieve the high property-tax burden on New Jersey’s citizens… Four decades later, the plan has failed. …politicians and special interests don’t see new streams of tax revenue as a means to replace or eliminate an existing stream, but rather as a way of adding to the public coffers. (For those who entertain fantasies of a value-added tax replacing the federal income tax, take heed.) New Jersey’s income tax started with a top rate of about 2.5 percent; it’s now around 9 percent.

Needless to say, nothing politicians promised has happened.

Property taxes haven’t been reduced. They’ve gone up. The government schools haven’t improved. Instead, the test scores in the state are embarrassing. And debt hasn’t gone down. Red ink instead has skyrocketed.

And what’s amazing—and depressing—is that New Jersey politicians continue to make a bad situation worse. Here are some excerpts from a Bloomberg report.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy proposed taxing online-room booking, ride-sharing, marijuana, e-cigarettes and Internet transactions along with raising taxes on millionaires and retail sales to fund a record $37.4 billion budget that would boost spending on schools, pensions and mass transit. …Murphy, a Democrat…has promised additional spending on underfunded schools and transportation in a credit-battered state with an estimated $8.7 billion structural deficit for the fiscal year that starts July 1. …Murphy said Tuesday in his budget address to lawmakers, “A millionaire’s tax is the right thing to do—and now is the time to do it.” …The budget…would…restore the state’s sales tax to 7 percent from 6.625 percent… Murphy’s proposal would almost triple the direct state subsidy for New Jersey Transit, which has been plagued by safety and financial issues.

More taxes, more spending, followed by even more taxes and more spending.

I wonder if Greek taxpayers would want to tell their counterparts in New Jersey how that story ends.

Assuming, of course, there are any taxpayers left in the Garden State. There’s already been a big exodus of productive people who are tired of being treated like fatted calves.

And don’t forget that New Jersey taxpayers no longer have unlimited ability to deduct their state and local taxes on their federal tax return. So these tax hikes will hurt much more than past increases.

In any event, taxpayers better escape before they die.

Though I know one guy who won’t be leaving.

P.S. Anybody want to guess whether New Jersey collapses before California, Illinois, or Connecticut? They’re all in the process of committing slow-motion suicide.

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Judge Rejects Teacher Tenure for California

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Judge Rejects Teacher Tenure for California

By JENNIFER MEDINAJUNE 10, 2014

LOS ANGELES — A California judge ruled Tuesday that teacher tenure laws deprived students of their right to an education under the State Constitution and violated their civil rights. The decision hands teachers’ unions a major defeat in a landmark case, one that could radically alter how California teachers are hired and fired and prompt challenges to tenure laws in other states.

“Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students,” Judge Rolf M. Treu of Los Angeles Superior Court wrote in the ruling. “The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience.”

The decision, which was enthusiastically endorsed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, brings a close to the first chapter of the case, Vergara v. California, in which a group of student plaintiffs backed by a Silicon Valley millionaire argued that state tenure laws had deprived them of a decent education by leaving bad teachers in place.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/11/us/california-teacher-tenure-laws-ruled-unconstitutional.html?_r=0