Willamette Week reports
Heidi Fikstad, co-owner of Eugene cannabis dispensary Moss Crossing, is getting double vision from keeping watch for new taxes on her business. Tax hikes loom on the horizon from both Washington, D.C., and Salem.
By the end of the month, Congress could increase the federal corporate income tax rate from 21% to 28%. And the Oregon Legislature could refer to voters a proposal to allow cities and counties to increase the local tax on cannabis products up from 3% to 10%, in addition to the state’s 17% cannabis tax.
The effect on Moss Crossing? Its tax burden would increase from 61% to 75%. That’s not a typo: 75 cents of every dollar Fikstad makes selling weed would go to the taxman
“For a lot of businesses, this would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Fikstad says. “We are exhausted already. To continue to pile on these excess taxes, it’s almost insulting. We’ve been struggling so hard to make it work, and businesses staying inside the regulatory lines are the ones most affected.”
Every business owner hates taxes. But cannabis shopkeepers have more reason than most to complain. Because marijuana is still federally illegal, weed retailers can’t use any of the common tax deductions other businesses claim, which lower the total dollar amount a company must pay taxes on.
Those deductions typically include wages, legal services, health care plans, advertising costs and security services. Fikstad doesn’t get deductions for rent, labor or the health insurance she provides for 17 employees.