Hayden residents approve marijuana tax, will keep fluoride in water | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden residents approve marijuana tax, will keep fluoride in water

— Hayden residents have voted to tax marijuana that is grown for retail stores.

Citizens were asked whether sales should be taxed between 7.5 percent and 15 percent. Residents approved the tax 272 to 167.

At a tax rate of 5 percent, Town Manager David Torgler has estimated marijuana-grow operations will generate $143,500 in annual revenue for the town.

The intent of the current Hayden Town Council is to have a tax rate of 7.5 percent, and future councils could raise the tax up to 15 percent.

There currently are no marijuana cultivation operations in Hayden, but one has been proposed for the Valley View Business Park. The council signed off on allowing grow operations Aug. 6 with a 6-1 vote, but a group of citizens collected enough signatures to put the issue on a ballot during a Jan. 26 special election.

If that reversal passes, grow operations will not be allowed, and there would be no tax revenue generated for the town.

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Town says 'yes' to fluoride

Fluoride proved to be a contentious issue for Hayden residents.

Ultimately, with 57.67 percent of voters in favor of fluoride, the chemical will remain in the town's water supply.

Proponents and opponents of fluoride put signs in their yards and wrote letters to the editor that were published in the Steamboat Today.

Proponents said fluoride was a safe, effective way to prevent tooth decay. Opponents said it was not necessary and should be removed from the town's drinking water.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland