MILPITAS — Milpitas residents likely will be asked to consider approving a November ballot measure that would levy a tax on marijuana sales. The... Milpitas: Voters may decide whether to levy marijuana sales tax

MILPITAS — Milpitas residents likely will be asked to consider approving a November ballot measure that would levy a tax on marijuana sales.

The Milpitas City Council last week directed staff to prepare the ballot measure as a way to raise more money.

The measure’s wording will need to be approved by at least four council members on Aug. 7 to get on the ballot.

The cannabis measure would impose a sales tax on future pot businesses, even though the city currently bans them. If voters say yes, the council would then consider allowing marijuana businesses and drafting rules to govern them.

About 56 percent of people surveyed said they would definitely or probably vote for a “tax of up to 10 percent on the gross receipts of regulated cannabis businesses, should the city permit regulated cannabis businesses to operate in Milpitas,” according to a survey by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates.

The survey was conducted via email, text message or phone call to help gauge support for the two measures among likely voters.

Renee Lorentzen, the Milpitas’ recreation services manager, said separate surveys by city staff of roughly 600 people in person and online found that 75 percent would support a local cannabis tax.

Councilman Garry Barbadillo opposed placing the cannabis sales tax measure on the ballot and Mayor Rich Tran abstained. Vice Mayor Marsha Grilli, Councilman Bob Nuñez and Councilman Anthony Phan voted to do so.

The council also voted by the same breakdown to hire Hinderliter, de Llamas and Associates, of Southern California, to help the city draft ballot language for the cannabis sales tax measure and help draft regulations if needed. That contract is worth up to $75,210, according to a city report.

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