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Tax On Medical Pot To Be Considered By Sacramento Leaders


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
The city of Sacramento is considering a tax on medicinal marijuana dispensaries as it grapples with yet another massive deficit.

Faced with a $43 million gap for the upcoming fiscal year, the pot tax is one source of revenue city officials are exploring. A tax on private parking lots and an increase in the city's business operations also are being investigated.

Sacramento would be the second city in the state to enact a special tax on pot shops, behind Oakland. San Jose and Berkeley are exploring the issue.

City officials are looking at either a local sales tax or a business operations tax related to medical marijuana shops, said Interim City Manager Gus Vina.

It is unclear how much revenue those taxes could generate. Any pot tax proposal would require voter approval.

The city released an outline of its proposed 2010-2011 budget on Friday. Specific cuts to the city workforce and programs are not outlined in great detail, but those cuts will emerge in a series of City Council workshops beginning around June 1.

To help fill the $43 million gap for the upcoming fiscal year - the third straight year the city has had a deficit - the city manager's office is proposing $14.6 million in cutbacks through layoffs and program reductions. Another $14 million would be saved by eliminating 145 positions that are currently vacant.

The manager's office is also hoping to save $5.6 million through labor concessions. Contracts expire in June for three city unions, including Local 39, City Hall's largest union with 1,770 employees.

Police and fire unions agreed to concession last year that helped fill a $50 million gap. As a result, firefighters won't get a raise until 2012, while police officers are scheduled to get their next bump in January.

The budget also proposed generating $8.8 million in one-time revenue. Of that, $4.3 million would be contributed to the general fund through interest earnings on bonds; $3.5 million by putting off replacing any of the city's 2,047 vehicles for a year; and $1 million by deferring maintenance on some city facilities for a year.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: The Sacramento Bee
Author: Ryan Lillis
Contact: The Sacramento Bee
Copyright: 2010 The Sacramento Bee
Website: Tax on medical pot to be considered by Sacramento leaders
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