What is this petty harassment?

 
Anyone recognize Burbank?
 

 

Is there any local precedent here for imposing a business-specific tax that was not already established by state or federal law for their own purposes (such as a tax on auto sales also collected by the city)?

We can’t think of one. Why not then start taxing the movie studios, too. Who cares if other cities are doing it? So much for business-friendly Burbank:

 

city-council-meeting-joint-all-agencies

 

For Tuesday night’s consideration:
 

Currently, commercial medical and non-medical marijuana businesses are prohibited in the City. Given the support of Proposition 64 by Burbank voters, the Council over the coming months, must decide whether it will permit certain commercial marijuana activities/businesses within the City limits. For example, the City could require nonmedical marijuana businesses to obtain local licenses and restrict where they could be located. Of course the City could also completely ban marijuana-related businesses except for the transportation of marijuana through the City.

Even if the City were to allow non-medical marijuana retail shops in the near future, the same will not be permitted to operate under state law until state licenses are issued. And the state must start issuing licenses by January 1, 2018. Medical marijuana dispensaries (retail shops), however, could start operating immediately upon local licensing, if permitted locally prior to January 1, 2018.

Depending on how the City chooses to regulate marijuana activities will impact the cost to the City for such regulation. If the City chooses to impose its own regulations, administration and enforcement will impact staff resources.

 
Actually, that’s what business licenses are for.  Now get ready for some major hilarity:
 

“Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana and the Impact on Public Safety: A Practical Guide for Law Enforcement,” prepared by the Police Foundation and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, 2015, (Exhibit B) shows that the legalization of marijuana in Colorado directly impacts public safety resources. Some of the enforcement issues faced in Colorado will be similar here, even if the City continues to prohibit marijuana businesses. Examples from Colorado are enforcement of driving under the influence of marijuana laws since there isn’t readily available testing for marijuana compared to alcohol and testing is much costlier; probable cause for search and seizure where some amount of marijuana is legal, but illegal drugs may also be present; greater incidents of dispensaries being targeted by criminals because of the cash nature of the business compared to liquor stores for instance; and Denver reports an upturn in homelessness due to marijuana availability.

 
Cue Sonny Bono. The police of course are always impartial arbiters of public morality and the law, and so let’s let them be the sole voice of authority here. And reason.

Now look what Burbank has in mind for the evil weed:
 

If the City does allow certain commercial marijuana activities such as dispensaries or testing facilities or retail shops, state laws allow the City to impose local taxes on such activities. The impacts of legalization on staff resources, could thereby be offset by license fees and tax revenues. The City has the legal authority to impose a tax upon the gross receipts of marijuana sales, services and transactions, provided the tax is approved by the voters. Since the proceeds of the proposed tax are dedicated to general governmental purposes, a simple majority may pass the tax. A general tax, however, may be proposed only on a regularly scheduled City Council election ballot except in cases of a fiscal emergency. (Cal. Const., Art. XIIIC, §2.)

Therefore, if the Council wishes to tax commercial marijuana activities/businesses, if Council doesn’t place the item on this April’s general election, the next opportunity will be April 2019. Depending on future Council actions, waiting until 2019 could result in a drain on City resources, as well as the loss of revenue to the City. The ordinance being recommended for adoption, is the ordinance calling for the election on April 11, 2017 (Exhibit A).

 
Yes, it’s an emergency!

Such bullshit. These supposed “enforcement costs” won’t be any more than for bars and restaurants, and probably a lot less– like almost nothing. Why doesn’t Burbank then also impose a user/general tax on alcoholic beverages? Ten percent on all bar and restaurant sales.

That’ll be the day.

And isn’t talk of taxing still nonexistent businesses that you might not allow anyway kind of putting the cart before the horse.

What are you going to do, city leaders? Only approve marijuana IF the voters of Burbank approve the tax in April? And retaliate against it (and them) if they don’t by saying “no”?

The city council needs to immediately reject this stupid proposal. The voters certainly will. There are already prospective taxes upon taxes on “legal” weed. The CA is also saying that the money is needed for the police, but will go into the general fund for “general governmental purposes.” She’s only saying this to the council so as not to trigger the more difficult 2/3 vote requirement. And it’s not true anyway.

Grow up, Burbank. Hey, you know what? Let’s put the entire MARIJUANA IN BURBANK vote on the ballot as well. Why allow just the council members to decide?
 
 
 

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “What is this petty harassment?

  1. Anonymous

    Good point semi, put the entire approval in front of the voters not just the tax.

    • semichorus

      I think so. Why not leave the entire issue up to the voters? Shall we have marijuana dispensaries in Burbank, etc.

      Why leave it up to the council members alone to decide? Why would they be afraid of putting BOTH topics on the ballot at the same time in April? It’d be a perfect two-fer.

      And people accuse me of never seeking solutions.

  2. DixieFlyer

    We need EXPERT testimony for our City Council.

    Wee Willie Rogers should share his expertise with the others.

    Now is the time to look to Will for leadership.

    • semichorus

      Funny. They need to talk about putting the whole issue on the ballot for the voters to decide, and then let’s see how pious he gets.

  3. Al in SoCal

    For non-medical use marijuana I don’t mind a small local tax, nor do I think the shoppers would mind. Chalk it up to a convenience fee (if it passes).

    Legal use stores are inevitable – so the best way to ‘control’ them is to get in front with some parameters. Especially as legalization proposition results from Burbank are around 55 – 60%.

  4. Victim Of The City Of Burbank

    If marijuana shops came to Burbank, the prices would be ridiculous. Even if there weren’t any extra taxes, the probability of shop owners gouging up prices because of the location. I’ve been to places in Pasadena that were too ridiculous ($15-20 a gram) and the same would be happening in Burbank.

    I’ll stick to going over to NoHo and Van Nuys to get my weed. Fuck Burbank.

    • semichorus

      I agree. Plus, the cops would just be hanging out outside harassing all the legal pot buyers.

      They’ll probably bring out that old hooker cop who used to try to snag hapless guys walking in the alley behind Taco Bell and Des Reagan’s on Magnolia.

      Remember that little BPD stunt?

      Get ready, Explorer Scouts! Start flirting with those pot buyers and ask them to buy you some good stuff. Community Service!

  5. DixieFlyer

    Lordy, Lordy!!!!

    We just can’t have anything on the Ballot which would force our Candidates to take a Public Position on ANY controversial item.

    Airport Issues, Pot,, Lying City Attorneys, will NOT come-up during our Sacrosanct Municipal Elections with Council members.

    Have some R E S P E C T.

    • semichorus

      Yes, I guess I should.

      The tax proposal is required to go in front of voters. But this council will NEVER put the dispensary idea itself up to a public vote as well. Staff’s just using this mythical, will-never-happen-if-it-wins vote to cast out forever the idea of “dispensaries” in Burbank.

    • Scott

      Will that hospitality group vote to spend tax money on a marijuana tax measure for the ballot ? How much of the new tax would go to that hospitality group ? Maybe Rogers could let us all know.

  6. This tax could be the tip of the iceberg. Next, let’s add a “infrastructure improvement tax” to every square foot of any future mixed-use developments in town.

  7. Anonymous

    This is gonna be hilarious.

    • semichorus

      It’s going to be especially fun to watch Rogers mock and ridicule the idea of leaving the decision of dispensaries up to “the people.” Like, in a co-vote for April.

      No, actually, he’ll spend the time mocking and ridiculing the proponents of such an idea.

  8. Anonymous

    Gun shops, Pot Shops, might as well through a few Strip Clubs on the ballot….oh wait, we have enough boobs on the council….

  9. Slim

    How about a development tax? To help offset the terrible conditions it will bring.

  10. Citizen Cane

    Alcohol and cigarettes are taxed. Marijuana should be taxed too. I thought liberals loved taxes. Look at the sugary drink tax in Philadelphia. Remember the tax on tea and the Boston Tea Party.

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