Voters will decide on 3 percent sales tax

Would apply to recreational pot

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — The cities of Monmouth and Independence have both put a measure on the November ballot regarding recreational marijuana sales tax.

If voters approve, a 3 percent sales tax will be collected by the state on recreational marijuana sales and go to the cities’ respective general funds, which are used to pay for law enforcement.

“The voters have to say yes,” Monmouth City Manager Scott McClure said. “This isn’t one where the council, on its own, could pass an ordinance putting in a new tax. As per state law, it has to go to the people.”

So far, there are two shops where someone can purchase recreational marijuana in Independence.

Both started as medical dispensaries, and both began selling recreational pot when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission allowed it on Oct. 1, 2015.

Right now, a 25 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana is collected. By the end of the year, the OLCC will have separate licenses for medical and recreational cannabis. State sales taxes on recreational pot will go to 17 percent.

If voters approve the additional tax, it would be on top of the 17 percent.

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