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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of Atascadero
Measure E-18 Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

9,399 votes yes (73.5%)

3,389 votes no (26.5%)

100% of precincts reporting (16/16).

13,663 ballots counted.

Cannabis Business Tax
— undefined

Shall the measure be adopted to tax cannabis businesses operating illegally or allowed in the future by the voters, State or City, at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 10% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 6% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses, generating $0-$500,000 annually for unrestricted general revenue purposes, such as police, fire and parks, until ended by the voters?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “yes” vote is a vote to adopt the Cannabis Business Tax, effective January 1, 2019.

 

NO vote means

A “no” vote is a vote against adopting the Cannabis Business Tax, and there would be no tax imposed on potential commercial cannabis activities of cannabis businesses within the City. 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Brian A. Pierik, City Attorney for the City of Atascadero

Measure E-18 seeks to establish a tax on cannabis businesses operating illegally at any time or operating legally should such businesses be permitted in the future. 

If adopted by the voters, Measure E-18 adds a new Chapter 3-17 to the Atascadero Municipal Code to implement a Cannabis Business Tax. 

Measure E-18 would tax cannabis businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation after January 1, 2022), 10% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, 2.5% for testing laboratories, 3% for distribution businesses, and 6% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses. 

Cannabis businesses are defined broadly to include all persons and businesses that cultivate, possess, manufacture, process, store, test, label, transport, distribute, deliver, or sell cannabis or cannabis products for commercial purposes and that require a state issued license for operation.

Personal cannabis cultivation, as defined by state law, will not be subject to this tax.

The Measure also outlines procedures for collecting, enforcing, and appealing violations related to the Cannabis Business Tax. 

A “yes” vote is a vote to adopt the Cannabis Business Tax, effective January 1, 2019.

A “no” vote is a vote against adopting the Cannabis Business Tax, and there would be no tax imposed on potential commercial cannabis activities of cannabis businesses within the City. 

Pursuant to Article XIII C of the Constitution, this measure requires approval by a majority of those casting ballots on the measure unless another threshold is otherwise required by law.

Because the Cannabis Business Tax is a general tax,  the revenues from the tax would be placed in the City’s general fund and used for unrestricted general revenue purposes, including, but not limited to, police, fire, parks, and other community services.   

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

The passage of Proposition 64 legalized recreational cannabis in California and gave local governments the responsibility to provide oversight and regulation within their communities. The City of Atascadero does not currently allow any cannabis business activity other than deliveries to residences.  Cannabis activities such as retail outlets or facilities for growing, manufacturing, or testing could be authorized by a future City Council, the voters, or directly by the State.

If other cannabis business activities are eventually permitted in the City, or if illegal activities are identified, a tax mechanism on such activities is needed.  Such a tax requires approval by the City’s voters.

If cannabis business activities became a reality in Atascadero, they would require increased enforcement, education, and other related services.  Without a tax measure, the impact of cannabis business activities would detract from other City services. 

The tax revenue from this measure on any future cannabis activity would go into the City’s General Fund, which could be used to pay for police, fire, code enforcement, or unrestricted general revenue purposes.  Both the starting tax rates and maximum tax rates proposed in this measure are in line with the rates approved in June 2018 by SLO County voters for the unincorporated areas of SLO County. 

Whether or not you supported Proposition 64, or support any cannabis business activity in the City of Atascadero, it is important to ensure that any future cannabis business activity that might occur, be fairly taxed, and not take away from existing vital programs and services.

Please join us in supporting this common sense measure.

 s/ Charles Bourbeau, Councilmember

s/ Brian Sturtevant, Councilmember

s/ Robert “Grigger” Jones

s/ Gere Sibbach, City Treasurer

s/ Ronald L. DeCarli

Arguments AGAINST

NO ARGUMENTS AGAINST MEASURE E-18 WERE SUBMITTED

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