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Council to put pot tax towards debt

Marijuana from Zion Cannabis Dispensary in Ontario. (Liliana Frankel/The Enterprise)

ONTARIO – Ontario will spend its marijuana tax windfall paying city debt owed for employee retirements and one-time spending for city projects, the Ontario City Council decided on Feb. 23.

The measure was proposed by Councilor Ken Hart and passed unanimously. 

The city expects to collect about $3 million this year through the local tax on marijuana sold in Ontario. Combined with tax collections from previous years, Hart and City Manager Adam Brown estimated the city had $5.5 million to spend.

Ontario currently has almost $11 million in retirement debt. The resolution pointed out that “interest payments on this unfunded liability negatively impact the general fund resources by taking funds from operations and puts them towards (retirement fund) interest payments.”

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