Missoula County aligns with recreational marijuana tax



Missoula County Commissioners will seek public comment on whether to propose a special election to consider a three percent local sales tax on recreational marijuana sales.

Missoula County Administrative Director Chris Lounsbury spoke to KGVO News on Monday.

“County commissioners will hold a public hearing to determine whether residents of Missoula County will vote on a three percent excise tax, much like a sales tax, but in Montana we call them a tax. excise duty on the sale of marijuana after January 1. when recreational and medicinal marijuana becomes available in the state of Montana, ”Lounsbury said.

Lounsbury provided an estimate of the amount that could be collected from such an excise tax.

“We don’t have an exact figure,” he said. “What we have are estimates that were made as part of the legislative process, and so that puts the number in Missoula County between $ 300,000 and $ 400,000 that would be increased when we look at that breakdown, which is 50% for the county and 45% for the city, so the county would get somewhere between $ 300,000 and $ 400,000 if those projections are correct, but again, these are only an estimate.

Lounsbury explained where the taxes would be allocated.

“The money can be used for any general government purpose, but what the commissioners are looking at, in particular, is that Missoula County is seeing strong growth in assessments as well as the growth and need for services.” , did he declare. “We’re seeing increased pressure on mental health services on our various prevention programs, so they’re really looking for ways to target this money to help meet some of these needs in the community, like around tax increases.” land and around the mental health service needs and those other things.

Lounsbury explained why the elections must be called by the commissioners at this time.

“The commissioners will make this decision,” he said. “It will be what we call a special election in this case across the county because it will be county wide. Normally on odd years like this we don’t have a county-wide election. So this will happen either with the city’s primary elections, if the city has primary elections, or in the November elections. If the city doesn’t have a primary, and I think city council will vote on that tonight, then we’ll have a better idea when we have this meeting on July 1.

The commissioners will take constituents’ comments into account until their public administrative meeting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6, when they vote on whether or not to approve the resolution.

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