As of December 2017, the town of Vancouver acquired $361,773 in marijuana excise taxes. Those funds pay for a further six police officers annually. Natasha Ramras, interim finance director, stated they anticipate to maintain these positions in perpetuity.
But if the Department of Justice begins to crackdown on states with authorized marijuana, that funding might disappear, and with it these positions.
“What if the revenue goes away? It’s a little bit too early to answer this question,” Ramras stated.
As it stands, if the excise tax funding disappeared, Vancouver would doubtless dip into its basic fund reserves to pay for the police positions subsequent yr. Ramras stated the town’s marijuana gross sales tax revenues are coming in above projections, so there’s some wiggle room within the finances.
The actual drawback would happen in 2019.
“We’re dealing with people, positions and priorities,” she stated. “We need to step back and reassess and plan.”
There’s nonetheless a number of unknowns, however Ramras stated the funding dialogue would probably happen as a part of the 2019 common finances cycle.