RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Lopez writes: "Cannabis taxes are raising tens of millions of dollars that are going straight to the state's school-building fund."

A fully budded marijuana plant ready for trimming is seen at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of its grand opening on New Year's Day in Northglenn, Colorado, December 31, 2013. (photo: Rick Willing/Reuters)
A fully budded marijuana plant ready for trimming is seen at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of its grand opening on New Year's Day in Northglenn, Colorado, December 31, 2013. (photo: Rick Willing/Reuters)


Marijuana Taxes Are Giving Colorado a Pot of Money to Rebuild Its Crumbling Schools

By German Lopez, Vox

15 July 17


Cannabis taxes are raising tens of millions of dollars that are going straight to the state’s school-building fund.

he K-12 school in Deer Trail, Colorado, is in rot. The swimming pool is in such grave shape that students can’t use it anymore. People in wheelchairs have to be lifted up stairs. A sewage leak has closed the coach’s locker room. Even basic security is a problem, as the doors are so out of shape that they can be difficult to close and lock.

All of this, detailed in a report in the Denver Post, may soon come to an end. Thanks to an infusion of state cash, the small town is finally building a new school. And here’s the kicker: Some of the money funding the school is coming from Colorado’s excise tax for marijuana.

That’s right: Marijuana legalization is helping build new schools in Colorado.

It’s not just Deer Trail. As part of the state’s legalization plan, Colorado allocates $40 million in marijuana tax money into the state’s Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program every year. The money then goes to building new schools or improving them.

BEST is expected to fund nearly $300 million in school projects over the 2017-2018 fiscal year, of which about $40 million will come from the state’s marijuana excise tax.

The money has led even some people skeptical of legalization to accept some of its benefits. So far, not a single school district has rejected the funding.

“I don’t care where the money comes from. If we get a new school, I’m for it,” Hayley Whitehead, a Deer Trail graduate who works for the school district, told the Denver Post. “I see the invoices and see what we need for repairs, so I have a pretty good idea of the situation here.”

The $40 million for BEST is only part of what Colorado gets from marijuana each year. In 2016, the state raised an additional $117 million through the rest of its pot revenue, made up of marijuana license and application fees, sales taxes, and the excise tax. That other money was allocated to the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, which is largely used for health care, education, drug treatment, drug prevention, and law enforcement programs; local governments; and a public school fund separate from BEST.

Marijuana legalization can’t solve every budget problem. In total, Colorado’s cannabis taxes and fees amount to less than 1 percent of the state’s budget. When it comes to schools in particular, the Denver Post reported that school projects alone will cost $18 billion through 2018 — far more than the entire BEST program provides.

But legalization still provides a lot of money — more than $150 million a year — that Colorado otherwise wouldn’t get. It won’t solve all of the state’s budget woes, but it does allow for extra spending on some projects that perhaps couldn’t be done before. For Colorado, that means a bit of help building newer, better schools.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
-5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-07-15 17:34
“I don’t care where the money comes from. If we get a new school, I’m for it,” Hayley Whitehead, a Deer Trail graduate who works for the school district, told the Denver Post. "


Gee, if they would just sell beer to high school kids, they could have really good schools. And why not sell crack, too.

Of course it matters where the money comes from. People pay taxes for schools and all of the public infrastructure. If there is not enough money, raise taxed.

I'm in favor of legalized pot, but not as a source of funding for governments.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN