Pot shop ban would cost city lost tax revenue

Here’s Greg Reibman’s column about the potential fiscal impact of a proposed ban on recreational marijuana stores here, as it appears on the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber’s website. 

A ballot referendum that would ban the sale of adult-use recreational marijuana in Newton would result in the loss of millions of dollars annually in local tax revenue, according to city projections.

Given the nascent nature of the marijuana industry, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how much revenue could be on the table. However, the revenue from a three percent local recreational marijuana tax and up to three percent in local host agreements could yield over $2 million and perhaps more, said Jonathan Yeo, chief operating officer for the City of Newton.

“These new dollars could potentially equal or exceed the [$1.95 million] Newton now collects annually from the local meals taxes from 400 restaurants,” Yeo said.

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