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Missoula County official reacts to recreational marijuana tax approval

Posted at 3:20 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 17:39:36-04

MISSOULA — Missoula County officials are reacting after voters approved a local 3% tax for recreational marijuana sales on Tuesday.

MTN News talked with a county official who says that money might offer relief from property tax increases, and mitigate rising home costs.

"As folks probably are acutely aware, local government is in the state of Montana, largely funded -- almost exclusively funded by property tax,” said Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier.

Strohmaier says that's not sustainable, so using this tool — another local tax option — may provide relief for homeowners.

"By way of reducing any future increases to property taxes that might come as the result of inflation or other community needs,” Strohmaier said.

Missoula County voters approved the measure to tax recreational marijuana sales, but not medicinal sales on Tuesday night. A total of 50% of the revenue generated by the tax will go to the county, 45% to the city, and the remaining 5% to the state.

Strohmaier says the local governments can use the money to their discretion. "We are still open to suggestions from the public in terms of how these revenues ought to be used."

The county previously cited a report by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research that says the tax is estimated to generate around $716,100 annually.

The tax will take effect on Jan. 31, 2022. Anyone with questions or ideas about where to direct the tax is encouraged to reach out to the city and county.