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Round two for marijuana sales tax on Gallatin County ballot

The county sees the 3% marijuana sales tax as a good revenue source.
Weed PIc .jpg
Posted at 5:22 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 19:22:38-04

It's round two for voters in Gallatin County to decide whether they want to tax medical and recreational marijuana products. This comes after a certification issue caused the results of the June election to be nullified.

“It's frankly illogical,” says Elliot Lindsey, Owner of Grizzly Pine.

Lindsey says he’s not in favor of more taxes on Marijuana products saying that money could be used some other way.

“Every dollar that we pay in taxes is a dollar that we can’t pay our employees which is a dollar they can’t use to pay rent,” says Lindsey.

The county sees the 3% marijuana sales tax as a good revenue source.

“We have a lot of sales in the county. We are going to be the highest sale county in the state so we thought it was probably a good question to ask the people if they like us to capture some of that tax,” says Gallatin County Commissioner Scott MacFarlane.

Gallatin County estimates they could generate $1.3 million a year in tax revenue from the pot tax. The county would be able to keep 50% of that, or around $688,000. Each city in the county would split 45% of the 1.3 million or $619,000 based on population. 5% or roughly $68,000 would go to the Montana Dept. of Revenue.

“It would be one of the few taxes that we’d be able to use locally- it’s one of the very few taxes that we have any access to that is not property tax,” says MacFarlane.

Right now, about half of Montana's counties allow recreational marijuana sales. However, 16 of those counties have a local option sales tax.

Madison, Beaverhead, and Gallatin County have a marijuana tax on the ballot. Gallatin County commissioners say if the taxes pass, they plan to use the revenue to invest in mental health.

“The intention of the three commissioners is that we'd use this money in our mental health programming,” says MacFarlane.

Linsey says he’ll wait and see what happens.

“If the people want it then vote it in then it’s in,” says Lindsey.

If Gallatin County voters do approve these tax measures then tax collection will begin in March 2023.