Colorado: Pueblo County Local Govt Employees Misuse Cannabis Tax Revenue

No surprises here. Directing revenue to non voter approved projects and of course the standard tenders to family members etc

KRDO reports

PUEBLO, Colo.- – A 2018 audit of Pueblo County’s finances released Wednesday details how county employees misused taxpayer dollars, highlighting a lack of financial control inside the County government.

The 2018 Pueblo County annual financial report was audited independently by the Pueblo accounting firm McPherson, Goodrich, Paolucci & Mihelich, PC.

The 247-page audit doesn’t give names but details questionable actions by county employees. More than $300,000 worth of marijuana tax money was misused to help fund projects not approved by Pueblo County voters.

The money was taken out of the marijuana excise tax fund. These funds were for the County’s Pot Scholarships Program as well as Capital Improvement projects throughout the county. Those are projects to build or repair roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.

The marijuana excise tax was approved by Pueblo County back in 2015. The county taxes 1% of the marijuana purchased by dispensaries by growers at retail price.

The audit says Pueblo County management redirected funds towards 1A community works projects, knowing that was not the voter-approved use for those tax dollars.

Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz told KRDO the redirected funds went to the Minor League Baseball Project, which fell through last year. In the audit, it says management believed they would reimburse the voter-approved marijuana fund down the line.

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