Aurora council postpones cannabis sales tax decrease talks | AuroraPosted by On

Two Aurora councilmembers Monday delayed a work study discussion scheduled for a proposed marijuana sales tax decrease. 

Sales tax rates on cannabis businesses have been a long-debated issue in Aurora. In a council study session last month, mayor pro-tem Curtis Gardner said “I told you so” to other city council members after hearing a presentation from the city’s budget office and an outside cannabis organization about the negative impacts of increased sales tax on the industry. 

Gardner and Councilmember Danielle Jurinsky planned to bring forward a proposal for a retail marijuana sales tax rate reduction ordinance at Monday’s study session. 

Jurinsky and Gardner asked to remove the item from Monday’s agenda and move it to a future council meeting. They did not give a reason for the item’s rescheduling.

In Colorado, on top of regular sales tax rates, the marijuana industry pays an excise tax for wholesale marijuana — or marijuana before it is sold to customers — and a special sales tax on retail cannabis sales. 

Truman Bradley, the executive director the Marijuana Industry Group, said taxes on marijuana have gone up roughly twice as fast as sales since marijuana was legalized.

In addition to paying extra in taxes, the marijuana industry is also not allowed to take normal business tax deductions for things they spend money on, such as rent and employee salaries, Bradley said. 

For a coffee shop business, for example, if the business brings in $1 million but spent…

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