Two tax measures could go before San Jacinto voters, but they may not affect the pocketbooks of most residents.
City Council members are expected to decide Tuesday if the electorate will be asked in November to approve a marijuana tax and increase the hotel tax.
Mayor Andrew Kotyuk said both proposals show the city is looking at the effects of marijuana’s possible legalization in California and future growth in the city.
“We want to be ahead of the curve,” he said.
If approved, the separate measures are expected to bring more than $5.25 million into city coffers each year, a city report states. Most of that would be from the marijuana initiative.
“That would probably cover our deficit with public safety,” Kotyuk said.
San Jacinto has cut police and fire services in recent years as the budget never fully recovered from the recession and state funding cuts.
The city is not lifting its ban on marijuana but is putting rules in place in case California voters approve a statewide initiative on the November ballot that would legalize marijuana.
“This proposition puts us in a position that we better do something with it,” Kotyuk said. “We better be in a position where we can benefit from it.”
State law allows medical marijuana, but cities retain authority to regulate the business of cultivating, processing and selling cannabis.
The state initiative would preserve cities’ authority to regulate or ban retail outlets but would allow cultivation of marijuana in private homes.
The proposed San Jacinto ordinance would create a tax on both medical and recreational marijuana businesses, establishing a maximum 15 percent tax on such businesses and adding a tax of up to $35 per square foot for space used in connection with the cultivation/manufacturing of marijuana or marijuana-infused products.
Raising the hotel occupancy tax from 8 percent to 10 percent would bring about $10,000 in additional revenue, the report states.
San Jacinto’s current rate brings in about $40,000 per year. And while the city has just two hotels, Kotyuk said developers have asked about building more.
The tax is added to the price of hotel rooms and other short-term rentals and is paid mostly by visitors to San Jacinto.
“We’re bringing outside revenue into the city,” Kotyuk said.
Proceeds from the measures would go into the city’s general fund, which pays for salaries and operations, including public safety contracts.
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