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Lawmakers: No tax breaks for pot farms

By MIKE BAKER

Associated Press

Washington lawmakers are debating a bill that would prevent marijuana farmers from receiving tax breaks that other farmers get.

SEATTLE (AP) — Some lawmakers in Washington state want to prevent marijuana producers from qualifying for agriculture tax breaks.

A state House committee heard a bill Tuesday that would block the new marijuana industry from tax breaks for 10 years. Officials estimate that the industry could otherwise qualify for three dozen different tax breaks, largely surrounding the agriculture industry.

Officials estimate that the new rules would increase state and local tax revenues by a combined $3.5 million over the span of one year.

Democratic Rep. Reuven Carlyle says it’s important that marijuana producers pay taxes so that lawmakers will have access to data in order to make better decisions in the future. Republican Rep. Cary Condotta questioned the bill, saying it may make it more difficult for the legal marijuana market to compete with the unregulated market.

Lawmakers have not scheduled any votes on the bill.



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