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State Tax increases, Marijuana Legalization

Ed Townsend - Columnist
Posted 3/29/21

Wow…our New York State legislature has had a couple of busy weeks and now both houses of the legislature are looking at plans for over $7 billion in tax increases, a 22.6% increase in spending and …

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State Tax increases, Marijuana Legalization

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Wow…our New York State legislature has had a couple of busy weeks and now both houses of the legislature are looking at plans for over $7 billion in tax increases, a 22.6% increase in spending and they have reached a deal to legalize recreational marijuana.

And guess what…if the tax increases go into effect our great New York State will have achieved the honor of being the top-spending state in the country.

Language in the law legalizing recreational marijuana will create a new Office of Cannabis Management that will be controlled by a Cannabis Control Board.

The proposed tax package would impose the highest state tax rates in the country on New York residents and it would include a top rate of 11.85% for personal income taxes, 20% for estate taxes and a new 1% surcharge on capital gains.

When talking about the legalization of recreational marijuana the legislation will permit New Yorkers over the age of 21 to grow their own plants, while there will be a 13% tax on retail sales for the state and local tax revenue.

New Yorkers have indeed suffered with this pandemic as the state is down more than one million jobs and thousands of small businesses are no longer. It looks like it may be necessary to find new revenues for health care, education, affordable housing and other needs.

With unemployment high in the region businesses are deciding where they will permanently locate…this situation is not the time to increase taxes.

How does the state sweeten the pot when getting folks to accept legalized recreational marijuana, they tell us that percentages of this marijuana revenue would go to the State Lottery fund for education and the Drug Treatment and Public Education Fund.

Forgot to mention…municipalities will have the option of opting out of this legislation if residents pass a local vote.

The state has been busy while most residents fight effects of COVID-19.

The busy approach is not helpful to New York State taxpayers.

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