Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Two cents a barrel.
While me fight over medical marijuana continues one city is making a pretty hang out the marijuana industry Oakland California.
Was the first city in the United States to impose a business tax on medical marijuana and our next guest wants the revenue.
Keep on come on -- -- high in series continues with Rebecca Kaplan councilwoman for the city.
Of -- councilman thank you for being on fox business and joining the series that you want to ask you about this business tax explaining me exactly how this works.
Yes and thank you for having me.
This city of Oakland held an election this July in response to a very significant budget crisis.
And in that election we put four measures on the ballot.
All of which were budgetary measures.
And all four past.
But the one that got the highest vote got 80% of the vote and that was the measure to impose a gross receipts tax and business tax.
On candidates dispensaries.
Of eighteen dollars per thousand dollars of groceries.
That's a large jump isn't that correct wasn't like a box something before -- -- -- teens about have been extremely large jump in revenue for the city correct.
It is it's a very large jump it's -- fifteen fold increase and we're grateful that they can -- this dispensaries themselves also supported the measure.
As well as of course funding the basic public services our firefighters our parks our libraries.
That the public needs.
We've been talking to a lot of officials pro and con on this issue all week long.
And one of the issues it then that you do have in California's legal medical marijuana dispensaries.
But you've also got a large number into parts of the states that are operating that are not legal how do you determine when you will issue.
Is it a license or permit or your tax collection efforts who's legal and who's not.
That's right the city of Oakland actually has a permitting procedure where somebody who wants to open a dispensary.
Has to go through a very onerous application and permitting process background checks safety inspections.
Their zoning codes about where they can be located there's rules about what hours they can be open.
And there's a limit on the total number of dispensaries that Oakland will give permits to.
And so Oakland has not had the problems that other cities -- head where there's no regulation and they just open all over the place.
The dispensaries in Oakland you know some of them are members of the chamber of commerce they've been very good neighbors.
Because we do actually have a very strict regulatory system over them and then that's the process where they get the permit and pay the taxes.
Supplement we talk about -- isn't an obvious and that's the DEA the drug enforcement agency and and you know that it in particular their funding increases in employee increases.
Have an exponential over the last thirty years have been.
Visit -- show this to our viewers about look at where the DEA yet hasn't come and gone over the last.
Thirty years here so I mean if you look at the DEA and the money being funded -- you is -- your argument -- your opinion that if we legalize.
Nationally medical marijuana that the DEA this that they would take less taxpayer money is that what you -- -- -- Well absolutely this really is an issue -- fiscal responsibility.
We have got budget crises all throughout the country we have cities laying off police we have crimes not being solved because there aren't enough personnel available.
We have schools closing we have firefighters being laid off.
And if we look at this chart of the DEA budget.
It has gone up an up and up -- everything else that is vital to basic quality of life has gone down.
And so when we look at where we're putting our public dollars are taxpayer dollars.
We need to put them into things that actually show benefit we need police to be free to solve real crime.
We need money to be able to be used to provide the services that people really need -- when it seems like there's never money available.
For the things that people really want and here we can see -- where that money's been going.
You know councilwoman -- it seems to me that you have such a refreshingly candid and honest voice.
In this debate -- -- telling -- clearly -- your decision making what the year council on appellate council members are thinking on this.
But the issue is sometimes in this debate some people have said.
Then the -- you tax something the less he'll -- basically pounded out of existence so the question is are you seeing any complaints.
From the people that you're taxing that hey we may not even have to do this operation other words the debate is.
Tax something out of existence is that something that's on your mind.
Actually that's not been a concern at all the people who run -- -- this dispensaries.
Would much rather pay taxes and be any legal permitted system.
Then not pay taxes and -- dealing with the fear of being busted and so.
There's actually been no complaint from them about being taxed.
And we're at this moment where.
I think we all recognize they -- -- -- condition has been a failure and so the question is what are we gonna replace that failure would it.
And what seems to be succeeding quite well is having those system of regulation permits and taxation.
And actually no there there hasn't really been an issue about taxing it out of existence.
And it's good for the city to have that money to provide the services -- provide quality of life for the community.
And -- back at the state of California is really the Bay Area is leading the charge and all of us Rebecca Kaplan.
Councilman from Oakland California it they can't hurt talking with us from our special series this week.
Thank you very much have a great day.
Filter by section