Prop. 19 fails, but voters approve marijuana taxes in several California cities

Volunteer Gregory Lyons, 63, of Oakland, makes calls at Oaksterdam University in support of Prop 19, a marijuana legalization initiative, in Oakland Tuesday morning November 2 2010. Lyons is a chocolate chef. (Brian van der Brug/LA Times)

Volunteer Gregory Lyons, 63, of Oakland, makes calls at Oaksterdam University in support of Prop 19, a marijuana legalization initiative, in Oakland Tuesday morning November 2 2010. Lyons is a chocolate chef. (Brian van der Brug/LA Times)

Even though voters soundly rejected Proposition 19, cities around California managed to win approval for plans to tax marijuana.

The measures were mostly contingent on Proposition 19 passing, so it’s doubtful they will have much effect unless pot legalization backers make another stab at a ballot measure sometime in the future.

La Puente voters approved two measures. One would have allowed the city to tax businesses that sell marijuana. The other would allow the city to impose taxes on medical marijuana establishments.

Sacramento and Rancho Cordova approved similar pot-tax measures. The Sacramento measure would have allowed a tax of up to 10% on recreational pot businesses.

San Jose voters also approved a pot sales tax of up to 10% to fund “essential City services such as police, fire, emergency response, street maintenance, pothole repair”
Supporters of Proposition 19 had argued that legalizing marijuana would be a financial boon to state and local government by generating hefty sales tax revenues. But it was unclear how much revenues actually would have been generated.

–Shelby Grad
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