Tag Archives: legalized marijuana

Never let a crisis go to waste: Rahm Emanuel calls for gas tax increase

He apparently hasn’t seen what is happening in France.

From ABC 7: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus are calling on lawmakers to raise the gas tax as part of a capital bill to pay for much-needed transportation infrastructure repairs and improvements.

The proposal would raise the gas tax by 20 to 30 cents per gallon.

It may seem like a big ask, but Mayor Emanuel and others believe there is a bigger problem with the state’s transportation infrastructure, particularly in the Chicago area, that cannot be ignored any longer.

“This has to be about achieving a permanent fix to our chronic transportation funding shortages,” said Joe Szabo, Executive Director Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. “We’re at a crisis point and the worst thing we could do now is to settle for a short term funding solution that will put us back in the same situation five or ten years from now.”

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, or CMAP, represents 285 communities in seven counties.

In the mayors’ proposed 20-to-30-cents per gallon increase, every five cents would provide an estimated $250 million in revenue statewide, including $20 million for Chicago. The money could be used to pay for road, bridge or rail improvements.

“If you take the lower range, the 20 cents, and since we haven’t raised it since 1990, that would be just about equal to what inflation was since 1990, that’s just catching up to where we were,” Emanuel said.

Chicago drivers are already paying one of the highest motor fuel taxes in the country, 49 cents a gallon, plus another 10.5 percent sales tax on top of that. The thought of raising it even further seemed jarring to some.

“Yikes. That’s pretty steep,” said Linda Sandoval, driver.

“There’s got to be a better way to find that money. They do need repair, but there’s got to be other means to get that money besides from a gas tax,” said driver John Heider. “It seems like we’re being penalized to get to and from work.”

The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association said the proposed tax hike would be disastrous to retailers, especially those near state lines.

Wednesday Mayor Emanuel will roll out another plan to deal with the city’s pension problems. A source confirmed he will call for the legalization of marijuana, and a Chicago casino with all the revenue going to pay for the city’s pensions.

He will also push for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the pension protection clause.

DCG

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Sticker shock coming with California's new legalized marijuana market

mafia
Government is going to be in charge. What else would you expect to happen?
From ABC News: California’s legal marijuana marketplace is coming with a kaleidoscope of new taxes and fees that could influence where it’s grown, how pot cookies and other munchies are produced and the price tag on just about everything.
Be ready for sticker shock. On a retail level, it costs about $35 to buy a small bag of good quality medical marijuana in Los Angeles, enough to roll five or six joints.
But in 2018, when legal sales take hold and additional taxes kick in, the cost of that same purchase in the new recreational market is expected to increase at the retail counter to $50 or $60. At the high end, that’s about a 70 percent jump.
Medical pot purchases are expected to rise in cost too, but not as steeply, industry experts say.
Or consider cannabis leaves, a sort of bottom-shelf product that comes from trimming prized plant buds. The loose, snipped leaves are typically gathered up and processed for use in cannabis-laced foods, ointments, concentrates and candies.
Growers sell a trash bag stuffed with clippings to manufacturers for about $50. But come January, the state will tax those leaves at $44 a pound. That means the tax payment on a bag holding 7 or 8 pounds would exceed the current market price by five or six times, forcing a huge price hike or, more likely, rendering it essentially valueless.
“All it would become is compost,” predicted Ryan Jennemann of THC Design in Los Angeles, whose company has used the leaves to manufacture concentrated oils.
Governments struggling to keep up with the cost of everything from worker pensions to paving streets are eager for the cascade of new tax money from commercial pot sales that could eventually top $1 billion statewide.
But higher taxes for businesses and consumers give the state’s thriving illicit market a built-in advantage. Operators in the legal market have been urging regulators to be aggressive about shutting down rogue operators.
Donnie Anderson, a Los Angeles medical cultivator and retailer, predicted the higher level of state taxation next year is “just going to help the illicit market thrive.” He said more needs to be done to cut the cost, especially for medical users, many of whom won’t be able to absorb a price jump.
The increased tax rates are just one part of California’s sprawling plan to transform its long-standing medical and illegal markets into a multibillion-dollar regulated economy, the nation’s largest legal pot shop. The reshaping of such an expansive illegal economy into a legal one hasn’t been witnessed since the end of Prohibition in 1933.
The change has come haltingly. Many cities are unlikely to be ready by Jan. 1 to issue business licenses, which are needed to operate in the new market, while big gaps remain in the system intended to move cannabis from the field to distribution centers, then to testing labs and eventually retail shops.
The path to legalization began last year when voters approved Proposition 64, which opened the way for recreational pot sales to adults. Medical marijuana has been legal in California for about two decades.
Come January, state taxes will include a 15 percent levy on purchases of all cannabis and cannabis products, including medical pot.
Local governments are free to slap on taxes on sales and growing too, and that has created a confusing patchwork of rates that vary city to city, county to county.
Read the rest of the story here.
DCG

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