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Gallatin County commissioners to ask voters to consider local taxes on marijuana products

Marijuana
Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 19:32:06-05

BOZEMAN - Voters may get a chance to decide on local-option sales taxes on marijuana products sold in Gallatin County.

According to a release, the Gallatin County Commission will consider asking voters to decide on local-option sales taxes on marijuana products sold in the county and is seeking public input on the potential ballot questions.

At their Tuesday, Feb. 22 public meeting, commissioners will discuss and decide upon resolutions of intent to put the following two items on the June 7, 2022, primary election ballot for Gallatin County voters to decide:

  • A 3 percent local-option sales tax on all non-medical (recreational) marijuana products sold in Gallatin County – see resolution here.
  • A 3 percent local-option sales tax on all medical marijuana products sold in Gallatin County – see resolution here.

A resolution of intent sets a public hearing for a decision on an item the commission is considering and gives notice so that the public can participate in the decision-making process. Commissioners will formally consider adding the questions to the primary election ballot at their March 8 regularly-scheduled public meeting.

In November 2020, Montana voters passed Initiative Measure 190, which allowed for the operation of various categories of marijuana businesses and taxation of marijuana retail sales in Montana counties in which a majority of voters approved the initiative. The initiative passed in Gallatin County with 65.6% of the vote.

If voters in an eligible county pass a local-option marijuana tax, 50 percent of the tax must be retained by the county, 45 percent apportioned to the cities and towns in the county based on population, and the remaining 5 percent given to the Montana Department of Revenue to defray state costs associated with the tax.

State law allows counties or cities and towns that receive local-option sales tax revenue for any activity, undertaking, or administrative service authorized by law, including costs resulting from the imposition of the tax.

Other Montana counties that have already asked voters to decide on similar local-option marijuana taxes include Yellowstone, Missoula and Park counties. Lewis and Clark County has opted to also put questions on their June ballot. And Butte-Silver Bow is also considering the ballot questions as well.

The public is encouraged to provide comment in any of the following ways:

  • Attend the Tuesday, Feb. 22 public meeting at 9 AM, either in person or on Zoom. The meeting will take place in the Community Room of the Gallatin County Courthouse, 311 W. Main St. in Bozeman. A Zoom link to the meeting will be posted here on Feb. 17.
  • Email comments to commission@gallatin.mt.gov.
  • Call the Gallatin County Commission office at 406-582-3000.
  • Drop off written comments at the Gallatin County Commission Office, located in room 306 of the Gallatin County Courthouse.