The Gallatin County Commission will consider asking voters to decide on local-option sales taxes on marijuana products sold in the county, and is seeking public input on the potential ballot questions.
At a meeting last week, the commissioners voted to approve resolutions of intent to put the following two items on the June 7, 2022 primary election ballot for Gallatin County voters to decide:
• A 3% local-option sales tax on all non-medical (recreational) marijuana products sold in Gallatin County.
• A 3% local-option sales tax on all medical marijuana products sold in Gallatin County. A resolution of intent sets a public hearing for a decision on an item the commission is considering, and gives notice so that the public can participate in the decision-making process. Commissioners will formally consider adding the questions to the primary election ballot at their March 8 regularly-scheduled public meeting.
In November 2020, Montana voters passed Initiative Measure 190, which allowed for the operation of various categories of marijuana businesses and taxation of marijuana retail sales in Montana counties in which a majority of voters approved the initiative. The initiative passed in Gallatin County with 65.6% of the vote.
If voters in an eligible county pass a local-option marijuana tax, 50% of the tax must be retained by the county, 45% apportioned to the cities and towns in the county based on population, and the remained 5% given to the Montana Department of Revenue to defray state costs associated with the tax.
State law allows counties or cities and towns that receive local-option sales tax revenue for any activity, undertaking or administrative service authorized by law, including costs resulting from the imposition of the tax.
Other Montana counties that have already asked voters to decide on similar local-option marijuana taxes include Yellowstone, Missoula and Park counties. Lewis and Clark County has opted to also put questions on their June ballot. And Butte-Silver Bow is also considering the ballot questions as well.
The public is encouraged to provide comment in any of the following ways:
• Email comments to [email protected].
• Call the Gallatin County Commission office at 406-582-3000.
• Drop off written comment at the Gallatin County Commission Office, located in room 306 of the Gallatin County Courthouse.