TRENTON, NJ – There’s not much in New Jersey that isn’t taxed these days and now, liberal Democrats in Trenton are pushing for a state “equality tax” on the sale of legal marijuana. Democrats are jockeying to siphon a large chunk of the revenue brought in by marijuana sales to their own urban centers.
There will be a 7% tax in New Jersey on the sale of legal marijuana once Trenton lawmakers decide how to roll it out, but not, lawmakers are arguing that a percentage of that tax should be an “equality tax” that is distributed only toward low-income and impoverished cities in the state to repair the damage of America’s cruel war on drugs in those cities.
That’s right, every time you buy legal marijuana in New Jersey, you’re doing your part to promote social equity through the state’s new social equity tax imposed on pot sales.
“We’ve spelled out the communities that we look for this money to be invested in,” said New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney. “I think we made our intentions very clear in the Senate.”
“A key component of cannabis legalization is addressing social justice concerns,” said New Jersey Assemblyman Jamel Holley a Democrat. “The fact that Black New Jerseyans are 3 or 4 times more likely to be arrested on cannabis charges has contributed to the disenfranchisement of black communities.”
Not every legislator is for using the newly voted on legalized sale of marijuana for paying back the inner cities.
“Democrats in the Legislature are now squabbling over everything – how much to tax marijuana, how they will split the money, how best to expunge prior convictions, and even whether to lower penalties for “magic mushrooms,” said New Jersey State Senator Robert Singer, a Republican. “They’re fighting over adding more taxes on legal pot – in addition to the State and local sales taxes explicitly approved by voters – that could lead to tax rates of 20 to 40 percent or higher for consumers. Republicans have warned that an excessive tax burden could undermine the legal marketplace and lead to lower tax revenues than expected.”
Singer said he was frustrated by his colleagues in Trenton after the ballot referendum for legalized marijuana was approved by voters 2 to 1 as they continue squabbling and jockeying for their own fair or unfair share of the pot…pot.
“While the legislation to establish a legal market and regulatory scheme for marijuana was expected to be a slam dunk after the ballot measure was approved by a 2-to-1 margin, disagreements over a slew of concerns have caused the process to stall,” Singer said. “While Democrats are trying to direct virtually all the tax revenues resulting from legalization to a handful of urban centers they represent to address “social justice” concerns, I believe there are broader challenges that impact New Jerseyans in every community that must be addressed.”