Auditor General: Marijuana Could Mean Money For PA, Pittsburgh

DePasquale estimates hundreds of millions in missed tax revenue

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Announce Regulating and Taxing Marijuana” Report Results

PA Internet News Service

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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says the state is missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue by not regulating and taxing marijuana.

In a joint press conference with Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Thursday, DePasquale released a special report that found a potential annual state tax revenue of $581 million.

That number is estimated based on a 35 percent tax on the growth, cultivation and sale of marijuana using existing tax rates on alcohol and tobacco.

DePasquale says given the appropriate allocation, Pittsburgh alone could receive $4 million more annually.

“Repeated polls have shown that a majority of Americans now believe marijuana should be legalized. In Pennsylvania, it’s 56 percent,” DePasquale said during the conference.

The 14-page report analyzes taxing and regulating marijuana through national research and estimates nearly 800,000 Pennsylvania adults 21 and over use marijuana.

“I think it is well past time to regulate and tax marijuana,” DePasquale told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News. “I think even without the revenue, how we currently handle this issue makes zero sense.”  

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