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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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— City Council Cannabis Business Tax —

Local
November 6, 2018 —California General Election

City of Vista
Measure AA - 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

Passed

14,210 votes yes (52.6%)

12,787 votes no (47.4%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (58/58).
  • 29,306 ballots counted.

CITY COUNCIL CANNABIS BUSINESS TAX. Shall the City Council measure imposing a general tax on potential future cannabis businesses to offset their community impacts by taxing marijuana cultivation at $14/square foot; and gross receipts of marijuana businesses at rates not exceeding 8% on manufacturing and distribution; 10% on medicinal retail; 12% on adult-use retail; and 3.5% on testing; potentially raising $84,000 annually per medicinal distributor until ended by voters; requiring audits and establishing penalties for non-compliance; be adopted?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE AA
CITY COUNCIL CANNABIS BUSINESS TAX

This initiative ordinance would establish a tax structure on businesses selling cannabis (marijuana) in the City of Vista. It would also grant the City Council plenary authority to establish, modify, and maintain all municipal ordinances, resolutions, and all other marijuana administrative rules, regulations and standards determined to be necessary to regulate or prohibit the legal or illegal sale of marijuana in the City of Vista. 

Marijuana businesses are currently prohibited in the City of Vista, but future action by the state legislature, the voters, or the city council, could permit one or more types of marijuana businesses to operate in the City. The City does not currently have a structure in place to tax marijuana businesses, and this initiative establishes a tax that would be imposed on marijuana businesses should they become legal in the future. 

This initiative does not legalize marijuana businesses in the City of Vista; it only establishes a taxing structure in the event they become legal in the future. The initiative does not tax or regulate personal use or personal cultivation of marijuana as permitted by the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. 

This initiative would impose initial tax rates on marijuana businesses that could be increased or decreased by the City Council within the ranges shown below:

·     Adult-use retailing: 6% initial rate, but within the range of 0%-12%

·     Medical retailing: 5% initial rate, but within the range of 0%-10% 

·     Manufacturing: 4% initial rate, but within the range of 0%-8%

·     Testing: 1% initial rate, but within the range of 0%-3.5%

·     Cultivation: $14 per square foot of canopy space adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index

The Cannabis Business Tax would be a general tax enacted solely for general governmental purposes of the City and not for specific purposes. All of the proceeds from the tax imposed by this Chapter would be placed in the City’s general fund and be available for any lawful municipal expenditure. It would be levied based upon business gross receipts and square footage of plant canopy when applied to cultivation. It would not be a sales and use tax, a tax upon income, or a tax upon income, or a tax upon real property. 

A “yes” vote means you want to authorize taxation of marijuana businesses in the City of Vista should they become legal in the future. 

A “no” vote means you do not want to not authorize taxation of marijuana businesses in the City of Vista should they become legal in the future. 

This initiative was placed on the ballot by the Vista City Council. 

Darold Pieper
City Attorney
City of Vista

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure AA. If you desire a copy of the ordinance or measure, please call the elections official’s office at (760) 636-6125 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

— City Attorney, City of Vista

YES vote means

A “yes” vote means you want to authorize taxation of marijuana businesses in the City of Vista should they become legal in the future. 

 

NO vote means

A “no” vote means you do not want to not authorize taxation of marijuana businesses in the City of Vista should they become legal in the future.

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE AA

Cannabis (marijuana) businesses are currently prohibited in the City of Vista, but future action by the state legislature, the voters, or a future city council, is likely to permit one or more types of cannabis businesses to operate in the City. However, the City does not currently have a structure in place to tax cannabis businesses in a manner sufficient to offset their impacts on the quality of life in the City, including impacts on the safety of neighborhoods, law enforcement and fire protection, fast and effective emergency medical services, traffic, parking, and other vital community services.

We can, however, by adopting Measure AA, create a taxing structure applicable to potential cannabis business that might become legal in the City and help offset the inevitable costs and other impacts they will impose on our City. We know that Sacramento will try to impose changes to cannabis law on local communities at some point. For example, 117 bills dealing with cannabis were introduced in the current session of the Legislature in Sacramento, at least some of which seek to avoid local controls on marijuana businesses.

Measure AA does not legalize cannabis businesses in the City, and does not modify or amend the City’s current ordinances, resolutions, and policies prohibiting the cannabis businesses in the City. It also does not does not tax or regulate the personal use or personal cultivation of cannabis as authorized by the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.

The City Council voted to place Proposition AA on the ballot and authorized the Mayor to file a written argument in favor of this proposition.

Judy Ritter, Mayor, City of Vista

John J. Aguilera, Deputy Mayor, City of Vista

John B. Franklin, City Councilmember, City of Vista

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE AA

VOTE NO on Measure AA.

  • MEASURE AA IS A BAD DEAL FOR THE CITIZENS OF VISTA

By its own admission, Measure AA will only raise up to $84,000 per year for three “Uber-style” cannabis delivery services. By contrast, Measure Z, the tax measure competing against Measure AA, will raise around $4,510,000 per year.

  • MEASURE AA IGNORES THE CITIZENS OF VISTA

The City’s own survey showed that a majority of Vista voters support allowing dispensaries to open in Vista. Measure AA ignores the will of the voters.

  • MEASURE AA IS MISLEADING

The proponents of Measure AA claim that it will bring in $84,000 each year per dispensary. They studied data from dispensaries in Long Beach when they arrived at their tax claims but are not allowing the very type of dispensary they use to support their claims.

  • MEASURE AA IS A “POISON PILL” THAT PERPETUATES VISTA’S FAILED POLICY OF “DISPENSARY WHACK-A-MOLE”

Over the years Vista’s city bureaucrats have wasted millions in taxpayer dollars forcibly closing cannabis dispensaries around the City—an endeavor that has amounted to no more than a game of “Dispensary Whack-A-Mole”. Because Measure AA is a standalone tax measure without any cannabis business license regulations, Measure AA is a “poison pill” designed to confuse voters and will continue the city bureaucrats’ wasteful game of “Dispensary Whack-A-Mole”.

ON NOVEMBER 6, 2018, VOTE “NO” ON MEASURE AA

Mark Woodard, Measure Z Proponent

Barry Walker, Chair, Save Vista-Safe Access-Safe Community, Yes on Measure Z

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE AA

VOTE NO on Measure AA.

  • MEASURE AA PERPETUATES VISTA’S FAILED POLICY OF “DISPENSARY WHACK-A-MOLE”

The proponents of Measure AA are absolutely correct, “Measure AA does not legalize cannabis businesses in the City, and does not modify or amend the City’s current ordinances, resolutions, and policies prohibiting cannabis businesses in the City.”

Not surprisingly, over the years those same proponents have wasted millions in taxpayer dollars forcibly closing cannabis dispensaries around the City—an endeavor that has amounted to no more than a game of “Dispensary Whack-A-Mole”. Because Measure AA is a standalone tax measure without any cannabis business license regulations, Measure AA will continue the bureaucrats’ wasteful game of “Dispensary Whack-A-Mole”.

  • MEASURE AA IGNORES THE CITIZENS OF VISTA

Notwithstanding the repeated games of “Dispensary Whack-A-Mole”, the City’s own survey showed that a majority of Vista voters support allowing dispensaries to open in Vista. Measure AA ignores the will of the voters.

  • MEASURE AA DOES NOT RAISE REVENUE FOR SAFETY OF NEIGHBORHOODS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND FIRE PROTECTION

Measure AA claims to raise up to $84,000 per year for three “Uber-style” cannabis delivery services. However and as stated above, Measure AA does not actually legalize cannabis businesses in the City. Therefore, Measure AA does not actually raise any revenue at all.

By contrast, Measure Z, the tax measure competing against Measure AA, will raise around $4,510,000 per year.

ON NOVEMBER 6, 2018, VOTE “NO” ON MEASURE AA AND “YES” MEASURE Z

Barry Walker, Chair, Save Vista-Safe Access-Safe Community, Yes on Measure Z

 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE AA

Vote YES on Measure AA.

Measure AA does not authorize marijuana sales in the City, but the Legislature in Sacramento seems intent on forcing sales throughout the state. We need to be prepared for that possibility.

Measure AA is a sensible, even-handed measure that helps ensure marijuana businesses pay their fair share to help offset their impacts on the quality of life in Vista. It would tax all of the types of cannabis businesses that might locate here with tax structures tailored to each type of business and its likely impacts. Testing laboratory rates are low while the rates on adult-use recreational marijuana are the highest.

The opponents of Measure AA argue that their Measure Z will bring over millions of dollars to the City annually. Do you really believe that? It’s a pie-in-the-sky argument. If enough marijuana users came to Vista to make those numbers realistic would you even want to live here? Look at the homeless problem marijuana has brought to Denver, Colorado, and picture what double-digit storefront retail stores might mean for Vista.

The “committee” arguing against Measure AA hopes to strike it rich by flooding Vista with marijuana storefronts through Measure Z. Barry Walker signed the No on Measure AA argument for the “committee.” His address is in Malibu. Do you think he’s looking out for your best interests or his?

Judy Ritter, Mayor, City of Vista

John J. Aguilera, Deputy Mayor, City of Vista

John B. Franklin, City Councilmember, City of Vista

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Proposed legislation

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Due to its length, the full text of this measure will not be entered into Voter's Edge by a League of Women Voters volunteer. Voter's Edge will instead point to a PDF version of a sample ballot prepared by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters: https://www2.sdcounty.ca.gov/rov/Sample_Ballots/Eng/SB-ENG-150.pdf

To find your own sample ballot version, containing all the candidates and measures on your own ballot, please use the ROV's sample ballot look-up tool at https://www2.sdcounty.ca.gov/rov/Eng/ballot.asp .

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Yes on Measure AA
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