Marijuana samples are on display for customers to look at inside 3D Cannabis Center in Denver on Jan. 1, 2014, the first day of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado. (RJ Sangosti, Denver Post file)

Denver ballot: Marijuana tax question would let city keep $5.3 million

TABOR revenue limits require refunding money from city's 3.5 percent special pot tax collected in 2014 unless voters allow Denver to keep it

Denver followed the state’s lead by creating a special recreational marijuana sales tax, and now the city will join the state in asking voters Nov. 3 to let it keep the tax money.

On the Denver city and county ballot, the question is the simply worded Measure 2B.

Among four Denver ballot measures this year, it’s the only one that lacks an organized campaign to rally support.

If voters agree, Denver will be able to keep $5.3 million collected in 2014 from the 3.5 percent special marijuana tax. An affirmative vote also would allow the city to continue collecting the full amount.

Otherwise, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights requires a refund of the money because of overall revenue that was higher than the city had projected when voters approved the tax two years ago.

City officials have used some of the tax money to beef up staffing for inspections, enforcement and public education about marijuana.

But some has remained untapped, allowing uses such as covering extra costs in the Central Denver Recreation Center project.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com