Medical Marijuana Taxes Aren't Saving Denver

June 22 2010, 10:50 AM
One of the industries that has thrived despite the so-called Great Recession is medical marijuana. And since cities began taxing sales at medical marijuana businesses late last year, revenues have been rolling in. In the five months from December through April, Denver collected more than $1 million, according to 9News. But the industry still represents less than one percent of the city's total collections, so marijuana isn't single-handedly solving Denver's budget problems. And budget issues have been cited as a reason why Denver wants to pursue a "crash tax," a fee of $300-$400 that would be paid by the non-city-resident parties involved in car accidents and that would cover emergency response (via 7News). While some are wary of the idea---theoretically, taxpayers are already paying for emergency services, regardless of Denver residency status---the state is grappling with budget problems of its own. Colorado is facing a budget "abyss" that will place key services, from schools to health care for the poor, under the potential budget ax, writes the Colorado Springs Gazette. The state will barely get by with a balanced budget at the end of this month, which marks the conclusion of the current fiscal year, points out The Denver Post. State revenues remain sluggish although Medicaid caseloads, as well as enrollment in schools and colleges, are up.