Voters Say Pot Tax Revenue Stays With State

(Photo: CPR/Irvin Coffee)
<p>An array of marijuana plants in a Boulder grow. </p>
Photo: Marijuana buds July 2015
Dried marijuana buds at a Colorado grower.

The taxes were approved by a 2-to-1 margin in 2013. But the voters were given an inaccurate projection of overall state revenues, which came to about $66 million -- more than anyone anticipated. That's when a little-known provision of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights kicked in. It says that if a new tax's revenue, or all state tax revenue minus the new tax revenue, exceed estimates, all of the new tax revenue must be given back to voters.

"For now on we should be on a very normal, predictable path of legal marijuana sales and tax revenues that benefit public schools and kids, and help us deal with any issues that marijuana legalization has brought about," said state Sen. Pat Steadman, a Denver Democrat who ran the campaign supporting the measure.

CPR's Ben Markus contributed to this report.