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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of Pittsburg
Measure J - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


13,693 votes yes (68.27%)

6,364 votes no (31.73%)

100% of precincts reporting (33/33).

22,467 ballots counted.

Shall the City of Pittsburg establish a marijuana business tax on all types of medical and non-medical marijuana businesses within the City, of no more than 10% of gross receipts of the business, generating no revenue unless the City amends the municipal code or State law is amended to authorize such businesses within City limits, and thereafter generating potentially greater than $100,000 annually, and which will continue until repealed by the City Council or City voters?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Contra Costa County Elections Division

The City Council of the City of Pittsburg adopted Resolution 16-13230, placing Measure J on the ballot. Measure J, if adopted by the voters, would amend Title 3, Revenue and Finance, of the Pittsburg Municipal Code to add Chapter 3.10, establishing a new marijuana business tax.

Currently, the City bans all marijuana businesses. However, it is possible that such businesses might be allowed in the future by action of the state legislation or voter initiative, over which the City would have no control. If that occurs, the City would be able to collect sales tax revenue from such marijuana businesses, if Measure J passes. Adoption of Measure J will not legalize the operation of marijuana businesses within the City.

The marijuana business tax would apply to all for profit and non-profit businesses involved in marijuana related activities within the City, including cultivating, delivering, dispensing, distributing, exchanging, manufacturing, planting, selling or testing marijuana or marijuana products, including marijuana or marijuana products intended for medical purposes. The tax would not apply to the cultivation of marijuana for personal use as long as such marijuana is not sold, bartered or exchanged for any consideration. Businesses engaged in marijuana related activities will be known as marijuana businesses.

If the proposed measure is approved, each marijuana business will pay a tax, as set by the City Council, of up to ten percent (10%) of the marijuana business’ gross receipts. For example, a business with $1,000 of gross receipts would pay a tax of up to $100. Measure J authorizes the City Council to set, by resolution, a lower tax rate, and to increase such tax rate as long as the tax does not exceed the maximum rate of ten percent per year. The tax will be payable directly to the City every month. Failure to timely and accurately pay the required tax could result in interest and fines.

If adopted, the marijuana business tax will generate no revenue unless applicable law is modified to allow such businesses. If marijuana businesses are allowed to legally operate within the City in the future,

the marijuana business tax will generate potentially greater than $100,000 in receipts for the City annually.

The proposed marijuana business tax is a general tax, the proceeds of which the City may use for any legal municipal purpose. The tax will be ongoing and will continue in effect until repealed by the City Council or City voters. Article XIIIC of the California Constitution requires a general tax to be approved by a majority vote of the City’s electorate.

A “yes” vote would approve the marijuana business tax and authorize the City Council to establish a marijuana business tax rate of up to ten percent of gross receipts. A “no” vote would reject the marijuana business tax.

Dated: August 15, 2016

Ruthann G. Ziegler
Pittsburg City Attorney

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

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