By Jim Tortolano
In less than a month, voters in the City of Stanton will decide whether or not to hitch the community’s wagon – in part – to the cultivation, processing and sale of marijuana.
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Measures A and B will be on the ballot of a special election. Measure A will allow the city council the power to impose a tax on cannabis operations which proponents claim could bring as much as $1.4 million annually to this city of about 40,000 people.
Measure B would raise the “bed tax” (officially, the transient occupancy tax) from 8 percent to 12 percent; a jump, which the city hopes, will bring in an additional $250,000 each year in new revenue.
In a sense, these are measures somewhat rooted in the future. Measure A won’t legalize cannabis businesses in the city, but will give the council the power to tax such businesses if they choose to locate in Stanton if the council legalizes the sale of “pot.”
A similar operation to what Stanton envisions is “Cookies,” located in the Los Angeles County city of Maywood. Such businesses would generally be limited to industrial areas.
Measure B would bring in additional income, but Stanton doesn’t have any major hotels along its main thoroughfare of Beach Boulevard. However, efforts underway to improve and upgrade that Highway 39 route could make it more attractive to the hospitality business in the future.
City Clerk Patricia Vasquez placed the cost of the special election at about $130,000.
Arguments in favor of Measure A express worries that without additional tax revenue, “the City will have to consider further reductions to authorized positions which will have a direct negative effect on the level of
public services and programs provided to the community.” Signs in support of A and B read “Keep Stanton Safe.”
Under Measure A, the city could impose a maximum 6 percent tax on gross receipts of a cannabis business, and a maximum $12 per square foot local general tax for cannabis cultivation.
Opposed is Kevin Carr and Save Our Stanton. In a rebuttal, he wrote, “This huge tax on pot will promote illegal sales and illegal activity in our residential neighborhoods, apartment complexes, condo associations, mobile home parks, etc. Do you want this type of activity moving in next door to you and your family?”
Polls will be open on Nov. 5 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For complete official information on the election go to ci.stanton.ca.us and on that home page find a “Quick Links” area in the lower-right-hand corner and click on “Election Information and Voter Services.”