Colorado has made so much money taxing legalized marijuana, the new $26.8 budget proposed by Governor John Hickenlooper features two rebates for the taxpayers totaling more than $167.2 million. The rebates include over $30 million for new marijuana taxes. That’s because the state collected more money in marijuana taxes than expected because of 2013’s Proposition AA. The rebates are mandated by the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. However, the state can ask voters for permission to keep it. The governor said he’ll let the legislature decide how to handle the rebate.
Tax credits or sales tax refunds will be used to distribute another projected $136.6 million for money over the cap for Referendum C in FY 2015-16. There is also substantially more money allocated for K-12 education in the budget, which is welcome news for Laurene Powell Jobs and other education reformers in the area. Part of the money will be handed out on a one-time only basis. It will help to complete construction projects already started and continue Colorado’s great support for higher education.
According to an article in the Denver Post, the Democratic governor’s budget includes new state and federal spending to the tune of $1.7 billion. Unemployment is down, the state is flush with green, and the populace is happy. Rocky Mountain high, indeed.