- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

DENVER (AP) - Colorado voters were deciding Tuesday whether to allow the state to hang on to some $66 million in marijuana taxes - despite an accounting error that would otherwise prompt a refund of the money.

Proposition BB was the only statewide question before voters in Tuesday’s off-year elections. The measure asks voters for permission for the state to retain 2014 taxes on recreational marijuana. The taxes - a 15 percent excise tax on growers and a 10 percent sales tax - were approved by a 2-to-1 margin in 2013.

But a quirk in Colorado tax law requires that the first year of those pot taxes be refunded. That’s because voters in 2013 were given an inaccurate projection of overall state revenues.

Proposition BB, approved by lawmakers earlier this year, has the support of both parties and the marijuana industry. The ballot measure has encountered no organized opposition.

“I think there are enough issues with marijuana that we need some of that money to deal with them,” Denver voter John Liptak said Tuesday.

But some voters said they weren’t so sure the measure would sail through.

“People enjoy getting their money back,” said Lakewood voter Don Garcia.

If Proposition BB fails, the money would be refunded three ways. Some $25 million would be refunded through 2016 income taxes, regardless of whether the filers bought pot.

Another $17 million in excise taxes would be refunded to pot growers, and the 10 percent sales tax would be cut to nearly zero for a time.


Associated Press writer P. Solomon Banda contributed to this report.

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