To be filed under the “be careful what you wish for” category of fiscal policy. Colorado scrambles to avoid having to refund all of the revenue from marijuana sales, because, well because SMALL GOVERNMENT!
As an April 1 report in The Times explained, Colorado’s tax revenues have recently surged, thanks in part to the booming construction, oil and gas industries, in addition to some $58 million from the marijuana taxes. But not only revenues but overall state spending this year are expected to end up higher than the state estimated back when the marijuana tax was on the ballot. Under Tabor — which some in Colorado have likened to a fiscal straitjacket or a statutory version of the crazed space computer HAL 9000 — the state is therefore required to refund the marijuana money.
It will be interesting to see how this turns out. Legislators are trying to pass a law that would get around this, but the constitutional amendment still stands, until voters agree to repeal it.