California City is on its way to making some greenbacks from a burgeoning marijuana cultivation industry the city council issued permits for last year after voters approved a tax on growers Tuesday.
The tax proposal, Measure A, gained 74 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning.
California City officials estimate it could generate about $3.4 million for the city while allowing the possibility of eliminating a special voter-approved parcel tax to fund basic services like fire, police, road maintenance and code enforcement.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section” curated_ids=””]That tax, which charges property owners $150 per parcel and brings in about $7.5 million annually, was up for renewal Tuesday, too. It failed to gather the two-thirds support needed with about 55 percent voting against it.
City Manager Tom Weill told The Bakersfield Californian late last month that if Measure A passed, it’s possible the city wouldn’t need to renew Measure B in the future because marijuana grow operations would prop up the city budget.
Mayor Jennifer Wood reinforced that Tuesday night. With Measure A’s passage, it’s a possibility the three-year Measure B tax would be rescinded in year two, she said.
“Our intention is to get rid of supplemental taxes to support public safety,” Wood said.
But even after the success of Measure A, the city will still be forced to cut from the general fund until revenue from marijuana taxes start coming in, Wood said.
“You have to pay the bills somehow,” she added.
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