On Tuesday, October 28th Erie’s Board of Trustees will review one new ordinance regarding retail marijuana in Erie. The Board has already sent two new issues to be resolved in the General Election ballot on November 4, 2014
Ordinance 35-2014: an order that would amend the “Business Regulations” article of the Town’s Municipal Code which outlaws retail marijuana businesses within Erie’s town borders. A moratorium was first set up in January 2013 and was extended in August of the same year to last until December 31, 2014. Due to Colorado’s Constitution (Article XVIII, Section 16) each city can choose whether or not to allow retail marijuana businesses within their borders. However, because of Amendment 64, they cannot outlaw the private use or growth of marijuana, at least within the parameters established by the amendment. The individual cities, or the moratorium set in place in Erie, also cannot interfere with the lawful possession or growth of a limited amount of marijuana of an individual who is 21 years of age or older. The Board will meet on October 28th to either lift the ban or extend the moratorium set on retail marijuana for the town of Erie.
Ballot Measure 1A: ballot measure 1A will make a new 0.185% sales and use tax that will be used to fund flood relief in Boulder County for a duration of five years (resulting in about $49.6 million during the period). The tax would only be subject to Boulder County and would help fund immediate flood response, the repair of infrastructures such as roads and bridges, help Boulder County’s readiness for flood response and help give relief to those who suffered in the flood of 2013.
Ballot Measure 1B: this ballot measure would ask Boulder County residents to keep a 0.9 mill (like a windmill) ad valoreum property tax for 15 more years. For example, 0.9% tax would equate to $21 per year if you had a property estimated to value around $300,000. The money generated from this tax goes to services that promote family stability and to families that have been in natural disaster so they can have the necessities for life. Increased need and decreased funding have made it difficult for Boulder County to make sure its residents are provided for in case of a natural disaster.
The two ballot issues make for interesting topics of consideration. Though, yes, the taxes go to funding aid and natural disaster awareness, they are still taxes and as long as people have air in their lungs they will fight any kind of tax that pops its ugly head in front of them. There is no guarantee that the money will actually go to fund these measures, as the money can be deferred or placed where it’s thought it is needed, but the money could go to some much needed programs and relief efforts around the Boulder Country area. As far as Ordinance 35-2014 is concerned, a measure not voted on by the public, there shouldn’t even be a meeting about the subject. Putting the exhausted for-or-against marijuana debate aside, the legal trade of marijuana could bring in millions of dollars of revenue for any city (and already has for Denver alone). If Boulder County needs tax money so bad why not sell marijuana, a commodity that only goes to local needs as it isn’t legal federally, to come up with some relief funds? It only makes sense to use something that could generate millions of dollars of revenue rather than create new ways to tax other goods and home owners. Doesn’t it?