Sen. Kane: CT to benefit from planned drug bust tax [WTNH]

February 21, 2012

Story as it appeared on the website of WTNH

CT to benefit from planned drug bust tax
Updated: Friday, 17 Feb 2012, 7:39 PM EST
Published : Friday, 17 Feb 2012, 4:50 PM EST

Mark Davis
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A push for a potential tax on drug busts could have a financial benefit on Connecticut towns and cities.

Everyone knows that like an escalator, when Democrats are in office taxes go up, or at least that’s what the Republicans say.

Republicans at the State Capitol are still complaining about last year’s tax hikes signed into law by Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy, but there are at least two Republicans that have been quietly working in favor of one tax for several years.

It’s the tax on marijuana and other drugs like heroin and cocaine. The state tax on these illegal drugs has been on the books for more than twenty years.

“This tax has been on the books since 1991, the State of Connecticut, however, fails to pursue it, so what we’d like to do is give that opportunity to the municipalities,” said Sen. Rob Kane/(R) Watertown.

The tax is at a rate of 3-dollars and 50-cents per gram of marijuana, and 200-dollars per gram of heroin or cocaine.

That means the tax on these seized marijuana plants is about 100-dollars per ounce, but the state hasn’t really enforced the tax aggressively against drug dealers that do have assets.

“The idea here is to give localities sort of an incentive to pursue these kind of cases, and if local police can make more of an effort to gather the evidence and for the tax to be collected once an arrest is made,” Rep. Arthur O’Neill/(R) Southbury.

Since more towns now need every penny they can get their hands on, more aggressive drug law enforcement might follow.

A full public hearing on the latest plan for the “Marijuana and Controlled Substances Tax,” is planned for later this month.