A 5 percent sales tax on retail marijuana and marijuana products was overwhelmingly favored by Snowmass Village voters on Tuesday night.
The vote on Snowmass Village Ballot Issue 2E was 783 in favor to 333 against, or 70.16 to 29.84 percent, with 80 percent of the vote counted.
Sales tax questions are subject to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), a 1992 amendment to the Colorado Constitution that limits the amount of money the state can tax and spend.
Snowmass Village’s proposal is a straight sales tax and not an excise tax. Revenues will be used to fund general municipal expenses as determined by the council, rather than being earmarked for special uses.
The town had wanted to establish a regulatory scheme for marijuana sales before lifting a moratorium that was enacted in the wake of the state’s 2012 legalization vote. Three times extended, the marijuana moratorium continues through April 30, 2019.
Snowmass Village, like the rest of Pitkin County, overwhelmingly said yes to recreational marijuana legalization during the 2012 election. However, the town council for months grappled with whether or not permitting pot shops in Snowmass Village fit within its family friendly reputation. In the end and by a split vote in September, council agreed to permit retail dispensaries, opting to not put that question before voters.
Instead, voters were asked whether a 5 percent sales tax was appropriate, which they agreed to by a large margin.
Also Tuesday in Snowmass, the three incumbent elected officials, Mayor Markey Butler and councilmen Bill Madsen and Bob Sirkus, were returned to office. Mayor Butler received the most votes, 906, while Councilman Madsen received 864 votes and Councilman Sirkus garnered 807 votes. Electors were allowed to vote for mayor and two council seats.