Polis, Perlmutter Want Tax Deductions for Marijuana Businesses

June 7, 2013
The bill seeks to  permit marijuana-related businesses to claim the regular standard deduction and deduct for rent and wages

The bill seeks to permit marijuana-related businesses to claim the regular standard deduction and deduct for rent and wages

WASHINGTON — Two Democratic U.S. Representatives from Colorado introduced legislation that would allow pot shops to claim the same business expenses and deductions on their federal tax forms as ordinary companies.

Jared Polis of Boulder and Ed Perlmutter of Golden argued for changing the Internal Revenue Service tax code to permit marijuana businesses to claim the regular standard deduction and deduct for rent and wages.

“The federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers,” Polis said in a press release, which also called for a “level playing field” for businesses.

“We need to address the public safety, crime, and lost tax revenue associated when these legal and regular businesses are operating a cash-only system,” Perlmutter said in a statement.

The Small Business Tax Equity Act seeks to clear up the ambiguity in the federal tax code of businesses that states permit but the federal government does not.  Marijuana is considered an illegal drug under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act.

Last year, voters in Colorado and Washington State approved challenges to the Nixon-era law, voting to legalize the recreational use of small amounts of marijuana. The passage of the citizens’ initiatives gained national headlines, but local initiatives to crack down on both medical marijuana dispensaries and the recreational use of pot have flown under the radar.

Last month, voters in Los Angeles approved an initiative that limits the number of medical marijuana dispensaries to 135 and raises taxes on them.  Last year, voters in Douglas County approved an initiative to ban the commercial sale and operation of marijuana.

Polis said he was not fazed by the Silent-Majority era backlash against permissive pot laws and sought to equate resistance to marijuana legalization to that which occurred after Prohibition ended in December 1933.

“It’s great. We encourage local control. To this day Texas has dry counties,” he said in an interview at the Capitol Wednesday.

Polis acknowledged the bill has no Republican co-sponsors, but plans to lobby members to win more support for it.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

6 Responses to Polis, Perlmutter Want Tax Deductions for Marijuana Businesses

  1. Joanb
    June 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Everyone should know that Bennet targeted conservative groups. Beware, if you upset him, you might be next!

  2. Joanb
    June 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Tax breaks for crane operators who work while “high” because their insurance could be more then normal.

  3. Bob Terry
    June 11, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Typical Perlmutter and Polis lets waste time and money to make sure the taxes are there on a marijuana law that is going to be nothing but trouble in the long run. Just a bunch of grandstanding I this boondogle was to raise money for schools (lol what a joke), no lets give taxbreaks now. I’ll lay odds this great marijuana law that the stoners voted in will get repealed…because it is nothing but problems, a law enforcement nightmare and when the NIMBY crowd gets going….its gonna let loose like an avalanche. Crime…well that hasn’t been addressed..but don’t think that card won’t be played as well.

  4. June 13, 2013 at 4:06 am

    There was a very touching front-page feature in Sunday’s Colorado Springs Gazette titled “Charlotte’s Web.” It was about a 6-year old girl, Charlotte, who had been having 1200 seizures a month. The medications given to her to control her seizures stopped her breathing several times. Her parents finally put a do-not-resuscitate order on her because they could not see her suffering through these incredible seizures.
    Charlotte’s Web is a strain of marijuana that has lower TCP and enhanced something else that has reduced her seizures to 3 a month. Families that have children with the same disease in Colorado can get the drug, which is refined and administered in an olive oil base under the tongue several times a day. Out-of-state families cannot get the drug, although some desperate families with the wherewithal have moved to Colorado.
    It is time for us to grow up and deal with marijuana as adults, allow businesses to run as businesses and cut out this federal nanny-state crap.

  5. June 15, 2013 at 2:22 am

    to think that marijuana can cure allot of illnesses, its a shame that there are still allot of people unaware of its benefits.


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