Editorial: The Times recommends to maintain Advisory Vote No. 8 on marijuana tax
Vote to “maintain” tax Advisory Vote No. 8, which closes agricultural tax preferences for marijuana growers.
Seattle Times Editorial
WASHINGTON’S Swiss cheese tax code contains so many preferential rates that even the newly legal marijuana industry could have gotten a break.
Instead, the Legislature acted earlier this year to exclude marijuana from 36 different preferences built into business, sales and property taxes, most of them aimed at agriculture.
Good move: It makes no sense to impose steep “sin taxes” on marijuana, and then open up tax breaks intended to help farmers. Marijuana is a crop, but the legalization measure approved by voters in 2012, Initiative 502, rightly puts pot alongside alcohol as an adult indulgence that should be taxed to offset its social costs.
In closing the tax preferences for marijuana, the Legislature added $2.8 million a year in revenue, which in turn requires an advisory vote on the November ballot thanks to a 2007 initiative from anti-tax activist Tim Eyman.
The vote is meaningless, but voters should nonetheless back the Legislature’s decision to exclude marijuana tax breaks. When you see Advisory Vote No. 8 on the ballot, vote to “maintain” it.
Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Jonathan Martin, Thanh Tan, Blanca Torres, Robert J. Vickers, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).