MADISON: In a new fiscal estimate from the Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue on Rep. Melissa Sargent's cannabis legalization bill, AB 482, the Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue predicts that if the legislation is enacted into law, both state and local governments will see large revenue increases.
The state agency estimates total revenue impact from sales tax, excise tax and fee revenues will top $60.5 million in fiscal year 2019, $109.5 million in fiscal year 2020 and $138 million in fiscal year 2021. Local tax revenues would rise $1.4 million in fiscal year 2019, $2.3 million in fiscal year 2020 and $2.7 million in fiscal year 2021.
The Dept. also estimates that the volume of cannabis purchased in Wisconsin consumers will be 55.36% of the amount purchased in the state of Colorado, where voters legalized cannabis in 2012.
As far as costs, the Dept. of Revenue estimates there would be an initial one-time cost of $345,960 to create processes and systems to accommodate the new tax and an annual cost to the state of $1,370,390.
With the state's own revenue agency documenting that legalizing cannabis would bring vast amounts of new state and local revenues, state lawmakers have an opportunity before them that could lift the state economy from Superior to Kenosha and all points in between.
Meanwhile, state lawmakers and Gov. Walker are busy patting themselves on the back for passing a state budget two and a half months late and passing legislation that commits the state to pay the Taiwanese tech company Foxconn up to $3 billion over 25 years to build a factory in Racine County that may create up to 13,000 jobs.