B.C. cities overwhelmingly voted in favour of collecting 40 per cent of pot revenue once the drug is legalized on Oct. 17.
“It’s really about making sure that we get some of the federal excise tax revenue to pay for what cannabis legalization will cost our communities,” said Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang.
“The goal… is to ensure that we don’t have to raise property taxes by one cent to pay for cannabis legalization in our communities.”
The proposal from the Union of B.C. Municipalities on Thursday called on the government to give 40 per cent, or $50 million, of the expected $125 million in cannabis excise tax revenue for the first two years after legalization.
Any revenue above $125 million would be shared 50-50 and each community, no matter its population, would get at least $10,000.
After the first two years, if the actual revenues matched the projected revenue then the original revenue sharing agreement would continue. If not, the B.C. cities propose raising the tax on pot from seven to 10 per cent. The extra three per cent would go to local governments.
Finance Minister Carole James said that the province is in constant communication with the UBCM on the pot revenue sharing file.
While James would not definitely comment on the UBCM’s proposal, she said the province was “open to having that discussion.”