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Bend voters may decide in fall on marijuana sales tax


Voters in Bend could be deciding this November on yet another tax, this time on recreational marijuana.

Starting next year, cities across the state are allowed to ask voters for a up to a 3 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana sales.

Currently, the state’s recreational marijuana sales tax is at 25 percent. The tax will drop to 17 percent next year, when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission takes control of recreational marijuana sales.

If the sales tax is passed, the city could add a 3 percent tax, for a total tax of 20 percent.

There are currently 17 marijuana shops in Bend, and officials looking at early state revenues project the city sales tax could generate more than $300,000 a year.

“People who consume marijuana will not see a tax increase,” Councilor Victor Chudowsky said Thursday.

Chudowsky, an opponent of the failed March gas tax, is in favor of the proposed marijuana tax.

During the summer, businesses across the city of Bend see an increase in sales, and it’s the same for Bloom Well.

“This initiative will be voted in by the community and we’ll support whatever the community decides and gladly pay our taxes if that is what they choose,” Bloom Well’s Shannon Morton said.

City officials will present the ballot title for the measure to the City Council on Aug. 3 for approval, sending it to the Nov. 8 ballot. Many other Oregon cities are proposing a similar vote.

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