The Newport City Council Monday night decided to go after what amounts to a 3% sales tax on the sale of retail/recreational marijuana sold within the Newport City limits. Retail sales only. Not on medical marijuana.
The three percent tax, although technically not a sales tax, would be collected by the state and then funneled back to the city for use for just about any expense the city has in providing services to the citizens of Newport. There was quite a bit of discussion at a recent city council meeting on whether all or some of the tax revenues should be used for specific purposes – like drug related programs or enhanced police observation of marijuana use in the community to ensure marijuana is consumed in a lawful manner. But the council balked at targeting any particular use of the funds. To be sure, the city has a number of projects and programs that can always use a little bump in funding.
Thus far nobody’s come up with a solid estimate as to how much revenue the marijuana tax might generate.
Despite the uncertainty of as to the specific use of the funds, the 3% tax is headed for the November 8th election this Fall.