Ontario council backs Hill’s drive to boost marijuana tax

ONTARIO – Tuesday night the Ontario City Council approved a resolution that urges the Oregon Legislature boost the local tax on retail marijuana sales in town.

The proposal – crafted by Ontario Mayor Riley Hill – will push the tax rate marijuana dispensary owners pay to 35 percent. Now the state levies a 17 percent tax on all retail marijuana sales and the city adds as 3 percent charge. Hill’s resolution would allow the city to raise the local tax up to 18 percent, if approved by the state.

The city’s approval of the resolution is the first step in what could be a long road that will eventually require approval of the Oregon Legislature and local voters.

“This is a multistep process,” said city attorney Larry Sullivan. “First, this goes to the legislature. The legislature decides whether or not to approve . . .